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NYC - MoMA: Henri Matisse's The Piano Lesson | by wallyg
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NYC - MoMA: Henri Matisse's The Piano Lesson

The Piano Lesson, Issy-les-Moulineaux, late summer 1916.

Oil on canvas, 8' 1/2" x 6' 11 3/4" (245.1 x 212.7 cm)

Henri Matisse, French, 1869-1954


This composition shows the open living-room window of Matisse's house at Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris, with his son Pierre practicing on the Pleyel piano. It is dusk; a candle is burning, illuminating a triangle of the lawn. In the bottom left corner is a representation of the most erotic of Matisse's sculptures, Decorative Figure of 1908, while the severe "teacher" in the opposite corner is a representation of the painting Woman on a High Stool of 1914. Together they afford a contrast of sensuality and hard work, suggesting that Pierre may be a surrogate representation of his father.


Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund.




The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 and is often recognized as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. Over the course of the next ten years, the Museum moved three times into progressively larger temporary quarters, and in 1939 finally opened the doors of its midtown home, located on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in midtown.


MoMA's holdings include more than 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. Highlights of the collection inlcude Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Salvador Dali's The Persisence of Memory, Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiseels d'Avignon and Three Musicians, Claude Monet's Water Lilies, Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie, Paul Gauguin's The Seed of the Areoi, Henri Matisse's Dance, Marc Chagall's I and the Village, Paul Cezanne's The Bather, Jackson Pollack's Number 31, 1950, and Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans. MoMA also owns approximately 22,000 films and four million film stills, and MoMA's Library and Archives, the premier research facilities of their kind in the world, hold over 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, and extensive individual files on more than 70,000 artists.

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Taken on March 16, 2008