This famous French artist frequently brought to life a whole collection of fruit and vegetables, often preferring an indoor setting for much of his work. The display, and experimentation of light and colour, were key factors in his decision to use this artistic genre, just as Paul Cezanne had so famously done. In this sense, whilst the styles of Matisse and Cezanne were particularly different, the fundamental elements that they varied were much the same.

The vibrant colours used by Matisse in much of his career is alive and well within Basket with Oranges. Other points of interest within this scene include the bright red table as well as the cloth which lies on top of it, resplendent with its flowery patterns on a predominantly pale white material. To that back is a plain blue curtain and perhaps an opening from which we can see a preview of a patio.

Matisse frequently arranged scenes himself for this type of work, not wishing to embrace the elements in the way of impressionists such as Monet or Bazille. As his health deteriorated this became even more the case, eventually forcing him to produce cutouts from his own bed.