|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Location||Museum of Modern Art, New York City|
|Dimensions||102.2 in × 153.6 in|
|259.7 cm × 390.1 cm|
|Famous Paintings by Henri Matisse|
|L’Atelier Rouge, 1911|
|The Conversation, 1912|
|Woman Reading, 1894|
|The Dance, 1909|
|The Snail, 1953|
|Green Stripe, 1905|
|Beasts of the Sea, 1950|
|The Open Window, 1905|
|Woman with a Hat, 1905|
The Dance by Henri Matisse is a two part celebration in the movement of human bodies. The five figures joined together appear to be lost in dance. The first version of a much paler hue, is the preview for the finally. The final painting features a dark blue background that pushes the radiant red bodies to the forefront. The viewer watches as the dancers’ feet lightly graze the flat green landscape in unison.
Style and Technique
Matisse unapologetically abandoned his expected Fauvism technique in this piece. He opted for a flatter use of color and introduced symbolism in his choices of hues. This excursion away from what he was known for also included his way of drawing the human body. His previous works included complicated images while the dancing bodies in this piece were quite primitive.
The Dance, completed in 1910, is one of Matisse’s most controversial and criticized works. The large oil on canvas painting stands out as a vision of fluid movement and simple color design.