"His style is said to be French-like". "Fresh and intimate". His brilliantly composed still-lifes are extremely attractive because of their easiness, the elegance of the drawing, the warm, sonoric poetics of the light colours". - They are just the most general statements about Géza Bornemisza's French-style art by the contemporary press, and by the art historians who dealt with his art. Ernő Kállai mentioned him among the rare exceptions (together with Béla Czóbel and László Medgyes) who could preserve the vivid sensuousness of the decorative plane-painting, after getting out of the milieu of the French painting. So, when we deal with the Still-life with a statue, in the studio, we cannot disregard the great adventure of Géza Bornemisza's life, the years spent in Matisse's studio.
Bornemisza's studies stated at the Nagybánya artists' colony, where he was Thorma's favourite student, in 1902. In 1903 he went to Paris, to attend the Julian School. But the dry academic studies did not suit his personality, so he spent the winter in Florence. In 1905 he returned to Paris, to Delecleuse's private school, where he met Leon Stein, the famous American collector, and through him Matisse and Picasso. In 1906 Matisse opened his free school at Rue de Sevres, where Csaba Perlrott and Géza Bornemisza are among his twelve students. Bornemisza recalls these years with these words: "I remember well the feverish work we did in that small circle at that time. 14 and 17 Cité Falguiere could tell a lot about it. Today they are legendary times for me. We knew Matisse, Picasso, Rousseau personally, we went together to Matisse's school. Every artistic issues were argued there. Studies, which were valued once from the point of view of colours, then from the pint of view of forms, drawing croquis, models at home, landscapes or still-lifes day by day." Leaving Nagybánya, he was immediately faced with the most up-to-date movements of contemporary art.
The topic of this painting is a corral-red female torso standing in a contra-post. Bornemisza often used statues on his still-lifes, often from different cultures. We can see the objects (the statue, the vase, the blue china lamp, and the shell-formed bowl) from a raised perspective. This perspective is covered with the optical game with the orange stripes of the poison-green tablecloth. But the decorative intention does not hide the essence. He learned the ecstatically strong, lively use of colours, reduced to the plane-surface from the fauves, and this deep knowledge appears on his paintings of the 1910's. Matisse, the Master wrote these words about Bornemisza:
"I confirm, that Géza Bornemisza - who worked in my studio as my student, this year and last year -, was outstanding with the seriousness of his works, and with his talent.