Artist: Henri Matisse
Size: 94 x 83 cm
Museum: Musée du Louvre (Paris, France)
Oranges were more than food for Matisse. They were to him what apples were for Cezanne. They became signs of joy, discs of pure color. One of the proudest moments of Matisse's life was when Picasso bought his Basket of Oranges in 1945. Matisse reciprocated by sending Picasso a crate of real oranges every New Year's Day. As the art historian John Golding puts it, "Matisse believed in the orange's health-giving properties, just as he believed in the restorative, healing properties of his own art."