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Museum of Art (4)

The following item is by Special Order only
O. L'Etoile by Edgar Degas Box.  
Another of Degas' delicately beautiful ballerinas.   Degas had the ability to bring to a canvas all of the enchantment created by a performing ballerina. In a medium that is static he created a still figure that gave the viewer the feeling that they had just seen the ballerina perform a tour jété .  Interestingly, Degas and Matisse, although separated by several  generations, lived for some years at the same time. The difference in how they saw "The Dance" is astonishing. Atop the easel, another Degas dancer, this one at the barre.  Inside, painted, ballet slippers and the artist's signature.  Retail:  About $205.00.  Our price: $184.90.

The following item is by Special Order only
P. The Dance by Henri Matisse Box.  Matisse was born in 1869 and died in 1954; having lived in two centuries that were completely disparate and yet his work never reflected any of the major changes that occurred in the world during his lifetime.  He was considered a modernist but unlike the others he never painted anything that reflected the times or ideologies of the period.  He painted, one might say, a world of his own making. This particular painting was part of a 2 mural commission, the themes being "Dance" and "Music". They were commissioned by a Russian industrialist, Sergey Shchukin, who was his greatest patron and were installed on the Grand Staircase of Shchukin's  home in Moscow, the Trubetskoy Palace.  (This was prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and there were only two classes in Russia at that time, the enormously rich who lived as the nobility lived and the terribly poor, the peasants, who lived in abject ignorance and poverty.)  In the glittering and luxe world that was Tsarist Russia, the world that Shchukin inhabited, where  music and ballet were the very essence of the social world, this painting had to be almost an obscenity.  Even today, in a museum setting, it is almost animalistic in feeling, prehistoric at the least.  Atop the easel back, another of Matisse's figures and inside the box the artist's signature. Retail: About $205.00.  Our price: $184.90.

NOTE:  
If you are interested in knowing more about this period in Russia you might want to read "Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert K. Massie and for brief reflections on this period you can find information on it in our "Faberge The Perfect Gift Catalog" which provides insights into that period because that was when the House of Fabergé created the masterpieces that today are world renowned, The Fabergé Eggs.

The following item is by Special Order only
Q.  Still Life with Magnolia by Henri Matisse Box.
Typical of the body of work that Matisse left, this painting is a flat surface with no shading or shadows to indicate depth or dimension.  It is painted as unrelated objects in a Matisse version of a still life.  He saw the world so differently than most see it.  Reading about Matisse I have never seen anything to indicate that he had eye problems but I can't help but wonder if, in fact, he had some sort of problem that left him without the ability to see dimensionally.  Certainly the way he saw the world, it was flattened and without the interest that dimension gives it and the thought that follows that  -- Is that why he used such harsh coloring, never softening a color and using combinations that were so jarring to the senses?  An interesting thought, isn't it?  They knew almost nothing about opthomology then so it is perfectly possible that he was unaware that he saw things differently than others. He was not a great one for discussing his work so it is possible, something like that could have been the case.  Atop the easel back is another of Matisse's strangely distorted figures.  Retail: About $205.00.  Our price: $184.90.

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