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jtucker's picture


I'm guessing these musicians practiced their beats in the shower, for they were clearly into rocking out in their birthday suits.

This painting was commissioned by Sergei Shchukin, a Russian businessman turned art collector. Interesting touch on Matisse’s part to make these musicians naked, especially because Shchukin explained that nudity was not okay since this piece was to be shown in his house where his two young nieces were living. I guess Matisse ignored him or Shchukin let down his hair, for he later accepted and exhibited his piece in his Moscow mansion.

It hung along side of Dance II, where it lived until 1917 when the Russian revolution transpired and messed everything up for Shchukin. He was forced to leave Russia and fled to France, but was unable to take his impressive art collection with him. Ultimately Lenin, a Russian communist revolutionary, ended up confiscating Shchukin’s collection including Matisse’s Music. The mansion that housed his collection later became the State Museum of New Western Art. This lasted for less than a decade before Stalin came in and shut the museum down due to the art being too bourgeois and cosmopolitan for his liking.

This painting, like Dance II is meant to show that man can achieve a state of completeness through creativity. 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Music (Matisse)

Music (La Musique) is a wall-size painting made by Henri Matisse in 1910. The painting was commissioned by Sergei Shchukin, who hung it with Dance on the staircase of his Moscow mansion. Matisse made the painting without any preparatory sketches, and thus the painting bears many traces of modifications. One can virtually trace the steps Matisse took to find the intended effect. Like in Dance, the aim was to show man's attainment of a state of completeness by immersion in creativity. The painting is now in the collection of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Music (Matisse).