“Music” (La Musique), oil on canvas (1910) Henri Matisse

The painting was commissioned by Sergei Shchukin, who hung it with “Dance” on the staircase of his Moscow mansion. Matisse made the painting without any preparatory sketches, and thus the painting bears many traces of modifications. One can virtually trace the steps Matisse took to find the intended effect. Like in “Dance” the aim was to show man’s attainment of a state of completeness by immersion in creativity. The painting is now in the collection of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.