"The Dance" by Henri Matisse, 1909, first version (MOMA)
The pioneering French modernist Henri Matisse is considered one of the most innovative and influential artists of the 20th century. Matisse’s oeuvre—created over more than five decades—includes a wide range of materials and styles, from exquisite tiny etchings to enormous cast-bronze sculpture to designs for religious vestments and stained-glass windows. But he is best-known for the sensual and motion-infused canvases, such as his series on the dance, which pulsate with the intense light and vivid color of southern France.
Art historian Nancy G. Heller, professor emerita at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, examines these canvases, as well as Matisse’s more cerebral cubist works, in depth. In addition, she explores ways in which all of Matisse’s diverse output shares certain critical elements of his aesthetic philosophy and provides specific examples of how the artist’s work continues to fascinate today’s creative minds.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.