Custom Research Paper Writing
End Paper Writing Worries

Call us today to learn more:


  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Free Plagiarism Check
  • Writing at Your Level
  • Native US Degreed Writers

Order Here

Henri Matisse

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.

Henri Matisse

This painting is in many ways a visual riff upon a number of then- (and still-) venerable conventions within the Western tradition of portraiture painting. We have all, of course, seen portraits of men and women displayed for the viewer on a chair, gazing out at us even as this young sailor does. Or rather, not exactly as this young sailor does, for while there is something of the typical self-possession of the portraitist’s subject in this painting, there is also a certain dis-ease that we are not accustomed to see.

That discomfort that Matisse conveys to us suggests that this man has perhaps not volunteered to be the subject of this painting. This is, after all, not a painting in the grand tradition of wealthy families seeking to acquire another canvas to hang in ancestral gallery but rather a man of modest means, a peasant even, visually caught within an artistic tradition that had (until Modernism) essentially belonged to his superiors in rank and wealth.

That Matisse should suggest that a poor young man might feel uncomfortable as the painter’s subject is not terribly surprising; what is far more interesting to us is the technical way in which he has been able to do so. Much of the effect of this painting lies in the ways in which Matisse has framed his subject. What would be the “cropping” if this were a photograph is too close, too severe. There is not the customary amount of space around this figure, who fills up the canvas to the point that we expect to see his elbows protruding from the edges.

Related Research Paper Topics

Watson and the Shark - Watson and the Shark painting was commissioned by an Englishman named Watson who had been attacked by a shark in Havana harbor and had been lucky enough to be rescued.

Dadaism - Up until this point, artists such as Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Henri Matisse, had largely been making pretty, colorful pictures.

John Singleton Copley - During John Singleton Copley’s long lifetime, the perception of the artist in America underwent a dramatic change, due in no small part to his own achievements.

Winslow Homer - The Fog Warning - "The Fog Warning" was painted by Homer after his move to Prout’s Neck, and was inspired by the unusually large harvest of fish in 1883.

Chuck Close - Chuck Close Research Paper examines a portrait artist and how his career began.

Cindy Sherman - Cindy Sherman Research Paper discusses the life of one of the most respected artists, and her study of the feminine identity.

Claude Monet - Claude Monet Term Paper delves into this impressionist painters style, and his life growing up.

Renoir - Renoir term papers analyze the Impressionism of the famous painter.

Renoir’s Sour Period - Renoir’s Sour Period research papers chronicle the artist’s artistic crisis.