Wednesday, July 3, 2013


These two paintings by Matisse, Piano Lesson and Music Lesson, show the same subject matter but in very different ways.  They are both Matisse’s son playing the piano.  In Piano Lesson the boy is focusing so hard on the metronome that everything around him seems to become abstract.  Even his face and a plant outside the window begin to take the shape of the metronome.  In Music Lesson, the boy is surrounded by his family and they all listen while he plays.  The first painting shows the discipline of music and the ways in which it is more solitary and intellectual, while the second painting depicts the pleasure of music, showing it in a much more social sense. 

Originally written 8/23/10

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