The Dance (l)

The Dance (l), 1909, Matisse, MOMA, New York City
The Dance (l), 1909, Matisse, MOMA, New York City

In March 1909, Matisse received a commission from the Russian merchant Sergei Shchukin for two large decorative panels, Dance and Music (now in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg). This painting was made quickly as a compositional study for Dance, which was intended to hang on a staircase landing at Shchukin's Trubetskoy Palace, in Moscow. The figure at left appears to move purposefully, while the other dancers seem to float weightlessly. The momentum of their movement breaks the circle as the arm of the foreground dancer reaches out. Dance, Matisse once said, evoked "life and rhythm."

Related pages