Yrjö Saarinen had never visited Paris. When he painted the mural Dancing Paris for a restaurant in Hyvinkää he was inspired by atmosphere of the space and his own ideas and perceptions of Paris in the 1930s. The acid and nocturnal colours play together with the broken lines given by a jazz rhythm. Independent modern women with their short hair, dark gazes and slender and languid figures appear as a fantasy of seduction. Saarinen went on to match Dancing Paris with his caricatural painting A Dance in Hyvinkää, enlightening the mythical role of Paris in the minds of Finnish artists.
Yrjö Saarinen: Tanssiva Pariisi, 1930 (detail) © Hyvinkää Art Museum / Photo: Hannu Salmi