Henri Matisse. Dance (I). Paris, Boulevard des Invalides, early 1909

Henri Matisse Dance (I) Paris, Boulevard des Invalides, early 1909

Floor 5, Collection Galleries

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 the landing of a staircase, approached from the lower right. This may be why the lower figure leans into the painting, increasing the sense of movement, and why the figure at left is so large, slowing it. Drawing visible beneath the paint shows that Matisse started with two smaller figures where the large figure is now.

Gallery label from 2012
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
8' 6 1/2" x 12' 9 1/2" (259.7 x 390.1 cm)
Credit
Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller in honor of Alfred H. Barr, Jr.
Object number
201.1963
Copyright
© 2018 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture