A morning with Matisse

Visited the Museum of Modern Art this morning. So much there that I knew from reproductions but had not actually seen. There are some artworks that reproduce well – Vermeer is a good example – but others have to be experienced to be properly understood. Here’s one example: Matisse, Dance (I) from 1909, a very famous and often reproduced picture.


Notice how the figure on the right is smaller than the one on the left. The label pointed out that Matisse painted this as a commission for a specific location in his client’s house: on the landing of a staircase. Viewers would, therefore, approach the picture from the bottom right and, if you are prepared to scrabble around on the floor of MoMA, you can see how , from this position, the inequalities in size disappear.



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