Dancing Dryads

Media - 1929.6.93 - SAAM-1929.6.93_1 - 457
Copied Albert Pinkham Ryder, Dancing Dryads, by 1879, oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard, 97 18 in. (22.818.0 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.6.93
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Artwork Details

Dancing Dryads
by 1879
97 18 in. (22.818.0 cm)
lower right in oil: Ryder
Credit Line
Gift of John Gellatly
Mediums Description
oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard
  • Landscape — tree
  • Performing arts — dance
  • Mythology — classical — dryad
Object Number

Artwork Description

Many American painters in the nineteenth century painted nature as a classical world of dryads, nymphs, and other imaginary creatures. Albert Pinkham Ryder was inspired by a painting by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot that shows dancing figures in an atmospheric, intimate landscape. In Dancing Dryads, Ryder added many layers of paint and glaze to create a thick, enamel-like surface that emphasized the glowing colors and dreamlike scene. Over time, however, the colors faded and an early restorer actually added the outlines around the figures to prevent them from disappearing into the background. (Broun, Albert Pinkham Ryder, 1989)