The Breton Dance

Creation date
oil on canvas
Mark Descriptions
signed with monogram L.R.: MAVD (in circle)
15-3/8 x 13 in.
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
Accession number
Currently On View In
Jane H. Fortune Gallery -

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.

Provenance Research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and information will be added to this record as research is completed. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Assoc. Curator of Research, at with any questions.
Reproduction of these images, including downloading, is prohibited without written authorization from VAGA.

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