(Audio from the Museum of Modern Art website - MoMA Multimedia)
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has an extraordinary art collection of modern and contemporary art such as this painting called "Dance (I)" by French painter Henri Matisse (1869-1954). The painting was done in early 1909 in Paris, Boulevard des Invalides. This oil on canvas, 8' 6 1/2" x 12' 9 1/2" (259.7 x 390.1 cm) is currently on view as part of the Abstract Expressionist New York Exhibit which runs through April 25.
From the MOMA Gallery Caption:
In March 1909, Matisse received a commission from the Russian merchant Sergei Shchukin for two large decorative panels, Dance and Music (now in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg). This painting was made quickly as a compositional study for Dance, which was intended to hang on a staircase landing at Shchukin's Trubetskoy Palace, in Moscow. The figure at left appears to move purposefully, while the other dancers seem to float weightlessly. The momentum of their movement breaks the circle as the arm of the foreground dancer reaches out. Dance, Matisse once said, evoked "life and rhythm."