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La musique

by Henri Matisse

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La musique - Description

Henri Matisse painted "The Music" for Sergei Shchukin, a Russian importer and ardent supporter of the painter's works. Matisse painted both "The Music" and "The Dance" to hang in the stairwell in Shchukin's house. Matisse used a typical Fauvist color palette of deep colors in both paintings. The Fauvists believed deep color and contrast was the best way to portray deep emotion and feeling. Here, the musicians are painted a deep carmine red. They dance on a deep green background, with a blue stripe behind them. There are no architectural elements in the painting, so the reader is focused on the interplay of color and the line of the figures. Fauvists were also fond of the primitive and the erotic. This is also clearly evident in "The Music." Figures are completely nude here, dancing and gamboling. This nudity was difficult for Shchukin to accept. He vacillated about buying the paintings, as he considered them too risqué for a public place. This sort of rejection was difficult for Matisse to accept, although he did not modify his paintings to suit his buyer. Eventually Shchukin relented and purchased both "The Music" and "The Dance," although he did have a local painter paint over the player's genitals before he hung the painting. This modification has since been reversed, allowing Matisse's vision of uninhibited dancers to be expressed fully.

Painting Details

Artwork Name: La musique

Original Artist: Henri Matisse
Style: Fauvism
Medium: 100% Hand-painted on Canvas
Shipping Cost: FREE
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