Cuno Amiet - Stillleben mit Zitronen, 1908
Oil on canvas
55 x 60 cm
During his stay in Pont-Aven (1892-1893), Cuno Amiet found himself in the midst of avant-garde artistic circles, which encouraged him to experiment with new ways of depiction. He broke with academic tone painting and began to paint with pure colours in the Neo-Impressionist manner. On his return to the predominantly conservative-minded Switzerland, his new painting style initially met with criticism. Nevertheless, he remained devoted to his found form of artistic expression and was thus able to keep up with the European avant-garde movements.
In the Neo-Impressionist painting "Stillleben mit Zitronen", the pictorial effect is determined by a free use of colour and form as well as a dissolution of traditional perspective. A plate with two lemons is presented on a table board whose surface is shaped with a coarse blue brushstroke. A mask-like doll's head peeps out from behind a bulge in the blue tablecloth. Behind it a draped orange textile piles up, forming the centre of the picture and a wicker armchair with a green cushion represents the flat, indistinct background.
As in many pictures, Amiet relies in this still life on the effect of complementary contrasts: here, vibrant yellow tones contrast with a bright blue, and a darker orange with a harmonious shade of green.