A Dancer Standing before a Mirror, 1927
crayon lithograph on grey laid paper
52.7 x 36.8 cm; image: 39.8 x 27.7 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15365)
© Estate of H. Matisse / SODRAC (2013)
The importance of the dance theme in Matisse's work is well known. In the 1920s he was preoccupied with the subject of the ballerina. This lithograph is close in date to the series called "Dix danseuses" that Matisse worked on between 1925 and 1926. His interest in ballet may have been inspired by his two-month stay in London in the fall of 1919. There, he worked with Sergei Diaghilev designing sets and costumes in a chinoiserie style for the "Ballets Russes'" production of Igor Stravinsky's "Le Chant du Rossignol (Song of the Nightingale)". Premiering at the Paris Opera in 1920, the production was revived in 1925.