The Young Sailor I (1906) by Henri Matisse

The Young Sailor I - Henri Matisse - 1906

Artwork Information

TitleThe Young Sailor I
ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions100 x 82 cm
Art MovementFauvism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Young Sailor I

“The Young Sailor I” is a distinguished work of art created by Henri Matisse in 1906, a sterling example of the Fauvism art movement. Executed using oil on canvas, the artwork measures 100 by 82 centimeters and portrays the genre of portraiture. As of the last recorded information, it resides within a Private Collection.

The artwork features a young man positioned against a backdrop that resonates with the vibrancy characteristic of Fauvist paintings. He is seated, his posture relaxed with one arm resting on his thigh and the other propping up his head. The sailor’s attire appears informal, with a beret atop his head and a loosely fitted shirt. His facial expression conveys a sense of contemplation or introspection.

The color palette employed by Matisse is strikingly bold and non-naturalistic, showcasing the Fauvist penchant for using colors to express emotion rather than reality. Greens, blues, and red tones are liberally applied not only to the sailor’s garments but also to his skin, creating a harmonious yet dynamic contrast. Brushwork is evident throughout, and the canvas captures the painter’s movement and energy, further highlighting the emotional undercurrents of the scene. The composition, while appearing somewhat simplified, hints at the beginnings of the modernist approaches that would become prevalent in the early 20th century.

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