The Young Sailor II
The Young Sailor II research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?
Henri Matisse’s “The Young Sailor, II”, a moderately sized oil painting that this modernist master painted in 1906, presents us both an evocative and lush image of the “jeune marin” but also allows us to investigate Matisse’s sense of his own calling as an artist – which was tied in key ways to his conception of the role of the artist’s model. After presenting a formal description of this painting at the beginning of this paper, I shall proceed to examine the ways in which this particular canvas supports Yve-Alain Bois’s arguments about Matisse’s intentions.
Matisse’s The Young Sailor II (1906) is a portrait of a young man that is actually a fisherman rather than a sailor. We know this by his typical fisherman attire: the navy cap and sweater, full-fitting green pants, patterned socks (most likely wool), and several layers of shirts under the navy sweater. The colors of the dress are vibrant and the articles appear larger than they would have to be for a man of his size. Further emphasizing this are the brush patterns which flow in sweeping curvatures that follow the line of the creases in his sweater and paints.
The Young Sailor II depicts a young man leisurely sprawled in a chair with his arms and legs in an open position. The young man is confronting the painter directly with his almond shaped eyes and the openness of the subject is evident through posture, gaze and hand/arm position. The young man is hiding his one hand behind his head while the other hand is at his side, clutching his leg.
His facial features and body position are an example of Matisse’s use of forced deformations. His nose is small and out of proportion, contrasted by his ears, which are large, back from his face and sticking out away from his scull. It also can be noted that while the sailor is French, his eyes and features exhibit oriental features, making his nationality ambiguous. His eyes are also not in proportion and their shape varies.
The Young Sailor’s bodily features are also forced deformations. His hands and fingers have no detail to them; making the hands appear hoof-like and the fingers mere stubs. His clothing hides the rest of his body and no determination of trunk proportions can be made.