Garçon au filet de papillons

The bold simplicity of the human form and bold blocks of color in this work shows the inspiration of Giotto’s frescos, which Matisse would have seen on a trip to Italy in 1907, the same year he created this work. The dark blue sky is reminiscent of the lapis pigment used in most High Renaissance Frescos. The simple, undefined background gives this work a timeless and monumental aura, this monumentality is extended by the large scale of this work. The boy who modeled for this work was Allan Stein, the nephew of Leo and Gertrude Stein. The Steins were important patrons to many modern French painters, such as Picasso, and owned several of Matisse’s works.

Original Medium: oil on canvas

Original Size: 69 3/4 x 45 15/16 in.

Date: 1907

Location: Minneapolis Institute of Arts