Décor Slav

Media - 1967.6.6 - SAAM-1967.6.6_1 - 63452
Copied H. Lyman Saÿen, Décor Slav, ca. 1915, oil on canvas, 30 1839 38 in. (76.5100.0 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of H. Lyman Sayen to his nation, 1967.6.6
Free to use

Artwork Details

Décor Slav
ca. 1915
30 1839 38 in. (76.5100.0 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of H. Lyman Sayen to his nation
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Landscape — tree
  • Landscape — park
  • Landscape — water
  • Architecture — other — gazebo
Object Number

Artwork Description

H. Lyman Saÿen spent a great deal of time at the home of his friend and fellow painter Carl Newman, who lived in Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania. Saÿen was inspired by Henri Matisse, who encouraged him to use color to express his emotions. He explored the countryside around Newman's house and created large paintings of the landscape in shocking colors. Décor Plat and Décor Slav confused the viewers at a 1916 exhibition, and one visitor commented that their strange compositions "defied analysis or explanation." (Public Ledger, Magazine Section, 1916, in Breeskin, H. Lyman Saÿen, 1970) The thick blocks of paint and bold outlines make the paintings appear animated, as if the colors are dancing and sliding around the canvas.