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Schukin, a well-known collector of the last century, knew Matisse well. In 1908, he decided to decorate his mansion in Moscow in a special way and suggested that the artist write two panels for the house.
With the help of allegory, it was necessary to depict such important arts as music and dance. The artist created paired panels. The themes were close to the owner of the house, since concerts were often given in his house.
Before sending the works to Russia, they were exhibited at the Autumn Salon in Paris in 1910. Such an unusual work of the artist caused a real scandal. Naked heroes and an unexpected vision of the topic surprised everyone. Schukin decided to initially abandon these works, but then changed his mind.
In the process of working on the figures of men, the artist sought to make them as simplified as possible. All heroes are deliberately devoid of personality. Their features are almost identical, the same can be said about physique. This is necessary so that the viewer can perceive this image as a whole.
The artist sought to achieve harmony of color. Matisse emphasized contrast. That is why he painted the characters in red. In order to balance the image, the paintings used blue and green colors. Background practically does not play any role, therefore it is maximally simplified.
We face five heroes. Two of them are playing, and three are singing. Matisse reproduced the position of a violinist as clearly as possible, since he himself was a virtuoso musician. The men on this panel seemed numb. The silhouettes are deliberately painted with elastic lines to give the canvas a special musical rhythm.
Matisse has been looking for the perfect compositional solution for a very long time. The scene corresponded with them several times.
Some researchers believe that the figures on the right resemble notes, and the violinist may be a symbol of the treble clef.
The canvas is characterized by a fresh gamut of colors. Heroes are static and completely isolated from others. They are immersed in music as much as possible.
Kuindzhi Pictures Moonlit Night