Dance Paintings Artists – Learn All about Dance Sketches! A Complete Guide for You

dance painting

When a person first thought about the fact that experiences, feelings, and emotions can be expressed through gestures and movements, he began to dance and do dance sketches. Primitive people transmitted joys and sorrows to each other through their bodies. They prayed with a dance, rejoiced, got angry, prepared for war, mourned the dead, and greeted newborns. And then they took coal in their hands and began to draw all this, first on the vaults of caves and on birchbark, and then on papyri and paper canvases.

The caveman depicted with clumsy and crude strokes mainly ritual dances that tribes performed around bonfires under the leadership of shamans. As soon as people moved into dwellings built of wood and stone, they decorated the walls of the houses with paintings. Skilled artists tried to transfer all the beauty and magic of dance to paper.

Many paintings of people dancing have been preserved on antique amphoras and frescoes. Free Greeks and life-loving Romans portrayed a person as strong, confident, majestic. In a frank and natural dance, the human soul, beautiful and pure, was revealed, and even physical disabilities or bad temper could not spoil this beauty.

Gradually, a man plunged into the harsh reality of the religious Middle Ages. At the suggestion of the churchmen, even the most innocent and unpretentious dance movements began to be interpreted as a devilish dance of a body that had fallen under the harmful influence of dark forces. Therefore, for several centuries, the dance theme was banned, because no one wanted to be burned alive at the stake of the Inquisition.

But with the advent of the Renaissance, artists gradually began to come out of their torpor. The first attempts to depict a dance painting were timid, but look how beautiful “The Three Graces”, which Sandro Botticelli wrote in the painting “Spring”, is. Light and weightless, incredibly graceful and adorable, these girls.

Below you can see the top 17 dance paintings by artists.

17 Famous Dance Paintings

artwork dancing
  • A Morning, The Dance of the Nymphs By Camille Corot. Working on the image of this or that motive, the artist first tried to feel it, and only after that, he started to paint where people are dancing painting. He believed that the main thing in painting was the ratio of forms and the combination of tones. On the canvas “Morning. Dance of the Nymphs is obviously a carefully verified harmonious combination of dark masses of foliage and gaps between them, setting a calm rhythm of the composition. The dance of mythical creatures, expressing the joy of being, seems to be an echo of the classical tradition. Graceful figures enliven the landscape, in their light movements among meadow grasses and shady trees, shrouded in the finest haze, the dream of the lost Golden Age is reflected – the consonance of a man with the world around him.
  • Le Ballet Espagnol By Édouard Manet
  • The Dancing Class By Edgar Degas. With the advent of the Impressionists, artwork dancing and pictorial art completely transformed, and with it, the attitude towards dance changed. In search of new forms of displaying light, heat, wind, and smell, the artists expanded the boundaries of the perception of the world and almost caught the dance in the frame of the picture. It was then that the world saw the fragile ballerinas of Edgar Degas, enjoyed graceful dances on the canvases of Renoir (Pierre-Auguste Renoir).
  • Bal Du Moulin De La Galette By Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Ball at the Moulin de la Galette” by Renoir is one of the most significant and iconic works of famous dance paintings in the history of the formation of the genre of impressionism as an independent artistic style. The open-air cafe “Moulin de la Galette” was located in the heart of Montmartre and attracted the Parisian bourgeoisie with an atmosphere of idle joy and fun, and the magnificent view from the terrace to Paris made you feel cut off from the bustle of the capital and the worries of the big city. Renoir’s main goal in writing this monumental canvas was to convey such an atmosphere of absolute detachment and endless celebration. Starting work in May 1876, he, with the help of his friends, delivered a huge canvas to the dance floor, at the risk of losing it from gusts of strong winds. Work in the open air continued until midnight, after which the painting was transferred to a nearby workshop. The artist used some of his friends and acquaintances as models for the composition.
  • Dance At Bougival By Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 1883 was a successful year for Pierre Auguste Renoir: he received a rather large order from the famous collector and patron of the Impressionists Paul Durand-Ruel, thanks to whom the painting “Dance at Bougival” appeared. The customer wished to become the owner of three canvases united by a common theme: pair dance.
  • Renoir enthusiastically set to work women dancing painting. A few years earlier, he had painted a picture of many couples dancing in an open space. This time, the artist decided to reduce the number of dancers to two people: on all three canvases we see the same couple, but the environment surrounding the dancers is different. On one canvas, a couple is dancing in the city, on the second – in the suburbs, and on the third – in the village.
  • Auguste Renoir’s painting “Dance at Bougival” takes the viewer to the suburbs of Paris, which was very popular at that time among Parisians and visitors to the city. People came here to sit with friends in a cozy cafe, breathe fresh air
  • Breton Girls Dancing, Pont-Aven By Paul Gauguin
  • At The Moulin Rouge: The Dance By Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec
  • The Dance By André Derain.
  • Dance By Henri Matisse. The most iconic and emotional painting of a dancer, “Dance” by Henri Matisse (Henri Matisse). Look at these red naked women, merged with nature – a bright blue sky, rich green grass. Man inevitably returns to his primitive origins, no matter how many civilizational layers he has. And we again remember the ritual dances of a primitive man, scratched with coal on a stone wall.
  • Greek Dance In A Landscape By André Bauchant
  • Le Bal Populaire (The Local Dance) – Raoul Dufy
  • Artist’s Studio “The Dance” – Roy Lichtenstein
  • Oberon, Titania, and Puck with Fairies Dancing – William Blake
  • Untitled (Dance) – Keith Haring
  • Pablo Picasso, The Three Dancers. This painting is the first work in the mainstream of surrealism, where the famous paintings of ballet dancers, the artist “verifies harmony with algebra”, disassembling human bodies into their parts and putting them back together according to the principles he knows alone. It was believed that the dissonance in relations with his wife, ex-ballerina Olga Khokhlova, was the reason for the depiction of the dancers in the form of convulsively twitching puppets. Only in 1965, the painter explained that the canvas, filled with broken figures, would be more correct to call the “Dance of Death” since it was inspired by the memories of the deaths of two of his artist friends: Carlos Casagemas in 1901 and Ramon Picho in 1925 (involved in a love affair a triangle with a femme fatale named Germaine Gargallo). During Picasso’s first voyage to Paris, Casagemas was his companion. Filled with passion for Germaine, he shot her, and then himself. In the first case, the bullet flew past, and the lady after a while became the wife of Ramon Pisho. While working on Three Dancers, Picasso received the news of Pisho’s death.
  • Sargent – El Jaleo (1882). El Jaleo is painted in a monochrome palette, except for the orange and crimson colors of the other dancers (seated far right), a few small touches of orange on the left (the candle on the chair and handprints on the back wall), and a gold accent on the pendant. Maintaining his affinity for the Spanish painting of Diego Velazquez (1599-1660) and Francisco Goya (1746-1828), as well as the dramatic tenebrism used by Baroque masters such as Rembrandt (1606-69), Sargent demonstrates his virtuoso skill. Dark tones (compare the solid black of the musician hats with the graduated grays of the dancer’s shawl), while contrasting the black with the white of the dancer’s dress caught in the bright stage light.
  • Oppler – Les Sylphides (1915). Now you partially know who painted the dance and what were the popular famous ballet paintings thanks to our article.
Do you like this article?
no 2


If you want to get in touch with ARTIK editorial team, you can send us a message using the form below. We take a lot of bathroom breaks, so please be patient.

Thank you for your comment

More Articles of Art

Distant Bliss Sculpture

Pharrell Williams, Richard Mille, and Coarse Present Distant Bliss Sculpture

Richard Mille has just presented a sculpture, designed together with the duo coarse from Los...

Famous Large Scale Artworks

Incredible Collection of Large Large Paintings on Canvas of All Times and Styles

Great art is not measurable in length or breadth. From giant sculptures to miniature paintings,...

Michelangelo’s La Pieta

Students Ask Kelly Latimore’s Painting of Jesus To Be Removed From the University

Students of the Catholic University of America created a petition demanding to eradicate the...

Open Your Eyes Exhibition

Javier Calleja and Case Studyo Collaborate Together for the Open Your Eyes Exhibition

Meet the duo's exhibition, open at UNDERGROUND and 3110NZ, that will remind you to Open Your Eyes....


You can do what you like and get paid! Write articles on the topic you like, work at home with well-paid work!

This site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.