Ruth St. Denis in the Peacock Dance (1919). Robert Henri (American, 1865-1929). Oil on canvas. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. St. Denis’s choreography was frequently inspired by non-Western sources, and she based this role on an Indian legend of a woman who is turned into a peacock because of her extreme vanity. Henri painted St. Denis in her exotic costume of shimmering violet and green, her sinuous pose reflective of the dance’s graceful movement.