Dancer and Rocaille Armchair on a Black Background (1942) by Henri Matisse

Dancer and Rocaille Armchair on a Black Background - Henri Matisse - 1942

Artwork Information

TitleDancer and Rocaille Armchair on a Black Background
ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions50.8 x 64.8 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Dancer and Rocaille Armchair on a Black Background

The artwork “Dancer and Rocaille Armchair on a Black Background” by Henri Matisse is a genre painting created in 1942. It is executed in oil on canvas and belongs to the Expressionism movement. The artwork measures 50.8 cm in height by 64.8 cm in width and is part of a private collection.

This expressive painting showcases a vibrant composition that features a seated figure and an ornately designed armchair. The figure, often interpreted as a dancer due to the work’s title, is rendered with simplified yet fluid lines that convey a sense of movement and grace. The dancer occupies the right side of the artwork, sitting on a yellow and red chair, with their body depicted in a relaxed pose.

The color palette is rich with bold contrasts: the figure’s yellow torso stands out against the deep black background, and the black leotard provides a stark juxtaposition. The elegance of the dancer is further emphasized by the stylized rocaille armchair, which displays swirling yellow forms and hints at a luxurious and decorative setting.

Matisse’s choice of a flat, two-dimensional perspective and his disregard for naturalistic detail reflect the principles of Expressionism, where emotional experience takes precedence over realistic representation. This approach is evident in the treatment of both the figure and the surrounding elements, which seem to blend into an integrated whole while maintaining their distinctive colors and forms. The artwork resonates with an emotive quality, inviting viewers to experience the painting beyond mere visual observation, delving into the sensations and imagination stirred by the artist’s unique vision.

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