Image Resources | Currently on View in Jane H. Fortune Gallery

The Breton Dance

Maurice Denis (French, 1870-1943)


Traditional dances were part of the rich Celtic heritage that led Maurice Denis to paint scenes of Brittany, where he often vacationed with his family. Here he weaves groups of flat, gently flowing dancers into a decorative, curvilinear pattern typical of the Pont-Aven School.

Behind them are the twisted forms of foliage set against the sky, inspired by the actual Breton trees contorted by fierce coastal winds. By using their jagged silhouettes to echo the sinuous outlines of the figures, Denis puts his dancers in step with their setting.

Object Information

artist
Maurice Denis (French, 1870-1943)
creation date
about 1891
materials
oil on canvas
dimensions
15-3/8 x 13 in.
23-1/2 x 20-1/2 in. (framed)
mark descriptions
signed with monogram L.R.: MAVD (in circle)
accession number
1998.175
credit line
Samuel Josefowitz Collection of the School of Pont-Aven, through the generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc., the Josefowitz Family, Mr. and Mrs. James M. Cornelius, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard J. Betley, Lori and Dan Efroymson, and other Friends of the Museum
copyright
© Maurice Denis/Artists Rights Society (ARS)
collection
European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1945