The Dancer, Henri Matisse
497 × 860mm (19½ × 30 in)
About The Artist
Matisse's interest in printmaking was concentrated into relatively short periods throughout his career, but his output was prolific, both in etching and lithography. His first significant group of etchings, of 1914, are intimate portraits of friends and family executed with astonishing speed.
In the early 1920s he turned with enthusiasm to lithography, and from 1925-30 he produced more than 80 studies of models, nude or draped, surrounded by flowers, fabrics and furniture whose fluid lines merge into an arabesque of pattern. His contact with Diaghilev in 1927 inspired numerous prints of ballet dancers and the portfolio 'Dix Danseuses'.
In 1929 Matisse resumed etching, working directly on the plate from the model and producing a constellation of nudes and odalisques whose lively clarity of line replaces the still, voluptuous atmosphere of the seraglio. His printmaking allowed to him to explore and distil in other media the themes that preoccupied him as a painter.