Ballerina (1927). Henri Matisse (French, Fauvism, 1869-1954). Oil on canvas. Hermitage.
In 1920, Matisse met a 19-year old Henriette Darricarrère who was studying ballet and would model in his Nice period. Matisse was no doubt drawn not only by her looks, her well-sculpted, strong form, but also by her artistry: she could easily transform herself into an odalisque, a Spanish lady, a violinist, or a pianist, as well as a dancer. Ballerina is remarkable for its simplicity of colour scheme and compositional balance.