The still life combining a few common items laid out on a table or a chest served Cézanne as the foundation for multiple variations. The motifs that make up the painting - the chest, apples and knife - appear many times in his paintings, as does the wallpaper. The unusual angle on the objects that is featured here was a true innovation and even shocking in Cézanne's time. The central axis drawn by the glass and the closure of the chest is contrasted by the knife and the asymmetrical distribution of the fruits, the bread and the jug. Likewise, the top of the chest does not form a true angle with the wall.
This painting seems more austere than other still lifes by Cézanne: the colours are fainter, in shades of green, the lines are more geometrical and accentuated by the pattern of the wallpaper. Nonetheless, it is a perfect illustration of his study of the balance of shapes.
Provenance : Ambroise Vollard, Paris; Bernheim-Jeune, Paris; Ambroise Vollard, Paris; Durand-Ruel, Paris; Brown, Baden (?) ; Magda Mauthner von Markhof, Vienna; Hugo Moser, Berlin; Thannhauser Galleries, Lucerne; S. Rosengart Museum, Lucerne; Max Silberberg, Wrocław; S. and S. (Silberberg et Simon) auction, Georges Petit Gallery, Paris, June 9, 1932, no. 13, repr. cat., unsold; Paul Rosenberg, Paris ; private collection, the Netherlands ; Domenica Walter.