Signed at lower right, Henri. Matisse.
This boldly executed drawing is a study for a painting now in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Shortly before 1900, Matisse's drawing style changed radically from its naturalistic origins to the expressive manner of this sheet, in which conventions of line and modeling are abandoned, contours obliterated, and volumes indicated by reserved white areas. "To copy the objects in a still life is nothing," Matisse wrote, "One must render the emotion they awaken." The silver chocolatière--a pot for serving hot chocolate--was a wedding present to Matisse and his wife from the painter Albert Marquet (1875 - 1947) and appears in several of Matisse,s paintings and drawings.