Collections: American Art: The Egyptian Dancers (Two Egyptian Dancers)

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

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    The Egyptian Dancers (Two Egyptian Dancers)

    Anne Estelle Rice was a young modernist at work in Paris when she created The Egyptian Dancers, inspired by the 1909 Paris debut of the Ballets Russes with an avant-garde production of Cleopatra. Determined to evoke the ballet’s angular choreography and sensual costumes (by Leon Bakst), Rice employed decoratively simplified forms and unnatural colors inspired by a French modernist aesthetic called Fauvism (fauve means “wild beast”). Several years after its acclaimed European debut in 1910, the painting was among numerous works that Rice left in the care of the American writer Theodore Dreiser when an exhibition planned for New York was subverted by wartime concerns. Untraced for the past sixty years, this recently recovered canvas will stand among the most significant achievements by an American modernist, or by an American woman, at work among the turn-of-the-century Parisian avant-garde.

    • Artist: Anne Estelle Rice, 1877-1959
    • Medium: Oil on canvas
    • Dates: 1910
    • Dimensions: 57 x 73 in. (144.8 x 185.4 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:American Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 2007.51
    • Credit Line: Dick S. Ramsay Fund
    • Rights Statement: © Anne Estelle Rice
    • Caption: Anne Estelle Rice (1877-1959). The Egyptian Dancers (Two Egyptian Dancers), 1910. Oil on canvas, 57 x 73 in. (144.8 x 185.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 2007.51. © Anne Estelle Rice
    • Image: overall, 2007.51_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
    • Record Completeness: Best (82%)
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    Recent Comments
    18:10 05/12/2009
    I wonder if there is an Egyptian theme in this piece.
    18:45 05/27/2009
    IIRC, It's actually a painting of the a French ballet inspired by Ancient Egyptian culture. But I'd have to find time to look up the source again to confirm that.
    15:33 06/2/2009
    Hi Nina, we managed to get the label from the gallery scanned and online, so that should give you some more information about the Egyptian theme.
    08:07 06/4/2011
    we bring you life today
    sway right and left
    and forward and back
    and gyrate
    and turn and twist;
    and life is fruit and flesh
    and it is pleasure and joy too
    and we bring in our bodies
    in our bodies, in our nakedness
    we bring you mystery
    and the passion of gods -
    O,sink your teeth into us
    we bring you life today
    sway right and left
    and forward and back
    and gyrate
    and turn and twist
    as everyday
    and life is ecstasy and “wow!”
    and moans and groans, and twists and turns
    and life is pain, and death and danger
    and allurement and traps
    take it all on a tray, take it all from us
    life and death and pleasure and danger all
    for today as everyday
    we bring you life today
    sway right and left
    and forward and back
    and gyrate
    and turn and twist
    and life is fruit and flesh

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