Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dance --- Day 5/316

Walk: No, Rain and Begin the new year office work
Distance: 0 (a few times up and down Ciwt's considerable stairs), Home yoga

Image result for the dance matisse
Henri Matisse, The Dance, 1910, 8' 6" x 12' 10", oil on canvas

So, you may ask, why is Ciwt all of a sudden going to Paris - in the middle of the winter, no less?
The answer is essentially, to see Dance, the painting above.  Like many, many people, Ciwt has a long history with it, beginning with one of her first posters and then drooling over it every time she read about it and/or saw its image in one of her several Matisse art books.

Dance was painted specifically for the Russian businessman and art collector, Count Sergei Shchukin, who was a major early patron and friend of Matisse.  Until the October Revolution of 1917 it hung together with its companion piece, Music, on the staircase of Shchukin's Moscow mansion. But, not quietly.  From the moment Dance arrived in Moscow it was a source of outrage and scandal, with some of the Count's friends refusing to come dine with him in proximity of the 'outrageous' images.

Since 1910 Dance has only left Russia once - for six weeks. And during that time the unparalled Shchukin collection of French  Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early modern painting was broken up.  Now 130 materpieces from it have been reunited and loaned to the Foundation Louis Vuitton for three months.  It is an extraordinary art event and achievement, and Dance is the icon among icons.  When the exhibition closes in February, it is assumed that Dance will never again leave Russia - or certainly  not in Ciwt's lifetime.

So, that's why Ciwt goes to Paris in the middle of winter.  Take away all the hoopla and fame of the painting, young art student and lover Ciwt never, ever in her wildest dreams thought she would be face to face with Dance's joyous energy.

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