Uruguayans love to dance. The tango, a dance first developed in Argentina, is very popular. La Cumparsita is a famous Uruguayan tango song written by Gerardo Mattos Rodríguez. The tango is often danced to guitar and accordion music by Uruguayan artists. Traditional dances in Uruguay include the milonga, the vidalita, the cifra and the pericon, which are still performed in rural areas, as well as the candombe, which is performed in Montevideo during Carnival.

 Uruguay has also produced many fine classical musicians and composers, including Eduardo Fabini (1882-1950) and Héctor Tosar (1923- ). The government of Uruguay supports two symphony orchestras as well as a theatre company. 

Juan Manuel Blanes (1830-1901) was the most famous 19th century artist in Uruguay. He painted large canvases depicting gaucho life and events from Uruguay's history. Pedro Figari (1861-1938) painted detailed scenes of daily life in Montevideo and the countryside. Joaquín Torres García (1874-1949) developed a style known as constructive universalism and influenced a generation of Uruguayan painters. The realistic sculptures of José Belloni (1880-1965) can be seen in public parks and plazas in Montevideo. They depict scenes from Uruguayan life, such as a stagecoach drawn by horses, or a wagon pulled by oxen.
  Did you know?
The Costa-Gavras movie, State of Siege (1973), is set in Uruguay in the early 1970s. It explores the conflict between Uruguay's government and the leftist Tupamaro guerrillas.
One of Uruguay's most famous works of literature is Ariel, by José Enrique Rodó (1871-1917). Written in 1900, the book is about the need to maintain spiritual values while pursuing material and technical progress. Florencio Sánchez (1875-1910) wrote plays about social problems that are still performed today. Juan Zorilla de San Martín (1855-1931) wrote epic poems about Uruguayan history. Juana de Ibarbourou (1895-1979) and Delmira Agustini (1866-1914) were also notable poets. Modern Uruguayan writers include Juan Carlos Onetti (author of No Man's Land and The Shipyard), Mario Benedetti and Eduardo Galeano.
  Did you know?
One of the longest murals in the world was painted by the Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró. The mural stretches along the side of a tunnel that connects the two buildings of the Pan American Union in Washington. Vilaró also painted a mural for the United Nations building in New York City.