Petr Matýsek

Still Life With Apples & Bananas

Petr Matýsek

Still Life With Apples & Bananas

This fine early 20th-century oil painting by Czech artist Petr Matýsek (1885-1941) depicts apples, bananas and a plant arranged on a tablecloth.

Perspective is such an important component of still-life painting. Traditionally, artists have adopted a viewpoint a few steps back, with a slightly elevated angle to provide depth - for example, in numerous 17th-century Dutch works. However, by the late 19th century, progressive thinkers were breaking all the rules and experimenting with new ideas. One such mind was Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) whose wonky array of unbalanced tabletops were groundbreaking and adventurous.

Influenced by the ideas of that great Frenchman, Matýsek has selected a composition which encompasses the entire table. By doing so, he’s bringing us closer to the scene, as if we could reach down into the bowl and steal away one of those succulent apples. And to compound the palpable sense of reality, every surface is rendered exquisitely - with careful attention to the apparent effects of light.

Signed/inscribed lower right and frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 32” x 30” / 81cm x 76cm
Year of creation: c. 1930
Condition: Artwork presents well. Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £5,284

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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