The still life was painted in Nice at the end of 1940. Matisse said he spent more than thirty sessions working on the picture and made many drawings for it. The motif of the seashell appeared in his work after a visit to Tahiti in 1930. This was one of Matisse's favourite pictures, which he presented to L.N. Delectorskaya. In 1958 Lydia Nikolayevna donated the canvas to the Pushkin Museum. It is the only painting from Matisse's later period in the Museum collection.