Details & Cataloguing

Allen Jones, R.A.


Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris, whence purchased by the present owner, October 1997

Catalogue Note

 'Lift up your hearts my breathren, high and higher! Neither forget your legs! Lift up your legs also ye good dancers and better yet if ye can stand upon your head' (F.Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra,  'Of the higher man', section 18).

Jones has been influenced by the writings of Nietzche since the 1960s and in particular by Zarathustra's use of dancing as a metaphor for celebrating the senses. Executed in 1993, the present work offers the artist's own persuasive invitation to engage in the energetic ritual of dance and carries explicit erotic undertones. The focus on two protagonists is typical of the early 1990s when he had developed away from the multi-figured 'party' pictures of the previous decade such as Harmony (1982, Private Collection) and Swing (1984, Private Collection). The more specific focus on the artist and muse has since become one of his favourite themes and 'in the throes of creative activity the artist is the instrument, the muse inseperable from the music' (Jones quoted in Andrew Lambirth, Allen Jones Works, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005, p.81). Indeed, Jones recently revealed that his favourite film is Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002).

In tune with the subject matter, the bold vibrant palette of Let's Dance also reverberates off the canvas and the specific concentration of red and orange reflects Kandinsky's view that such colours suggest 'joy and plenty' (W.Kandinsky quoted in Marco Livingston, Allen Jones Retrospective of Paintings, exh.cat., Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, March - April 1979, unpaginated).


20th Century British Art