You’ve probably heard of Matisse’s “Dance,” but what about Shchukin’s “Music” panel from the same historical order?
The same three colors and lines. But now, instead of violence and energy, we see static and calmness. There is a sense of concentration and order as the characters are completely immersed in music making.
Matisse purposefully stole the characters’ individuality in order to avoid distracting the audience with details. The main concept is to convey the process, emotions, and feelings. As a result, there is nothing to analyze here; simply listen to your heart.
Matisse was supposed to paint the third panel, “Bathing.” But Shchukin’s house was two stories high, and he couldn’t find a place for the picture. The size of a house can sometimes have an impact on the art.
So, a little speculation: people say the characters are seated in a note-like arrangement. But Matisse himself did not give any transcripts, so we just keep in mind.