We haven’t looked at a nude on this blog in quite some time. I used to feature a nude almost every three posts or so. But lately the nude-a-rama spirit of this blog has waned. As a nude model myself, I am contrite 😳

So let’s check out a nude shall we? I’ve chosen a painting by one of my favorite artists, Henri Matisse. From 1903, it’s titled Carmelina. You can see that Matisse was experimenting here with composition, specifically the juxtaposition of round lines and shapes with straight, right-angled ones: the curvilinear against the rectilinear. The round, fleshy forms of the model’s figure contrast with the mostly squarish shapes of the surrounding objects, except for the blue bottle and decorative design on the mantel. Matisse also gives us the reflection in the mirror, which provides a small peek of himself and Carmelina’s back.

Carmelina, about whom I was unable to find any biographical information, is dominant and full-frontal. She serves as nude figure and nude figure alone. There is no narrative or discernible subtext. The set-up is simply one that Matisse found a pleasing and interesting visual arrangement. You know what I find the most quirky and interesting element in this painting? The blue ribbon on Carmelina’s ponytail. It’s a feminine, girly detail on a model with a serious no-nonsense demeanor. The ribbon also provides, along with the blue jug, a jolt of cool blue tone in a palette suffused by warmly lit ochres. Methinks old Henri knew what he was doing πŸ™‚

Carmelina is in the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

7 thoughts on “Carmelina

  1. Jennifer says:

    A very striking nude – thanks for posting it πŸ™‚

  2. violinhunter says:

    I had never seen this painting before and I even have a book on Matisse!!! I venture to say that this painting is indeed “delicious.” And yes, you should indeed be “contrite.” πŸ™‚

    • artmodel says:


      I have two Matisse books. One has this painting, the other doesn’t. I’ll try to post more “delicious” nudes for you in the future πŸ˜‰


      • violinhunter says:

        Claudia, I guess I have the one that doesn’t have the painting. Thank you for your graciousness and lovely sense of humor. Your reply reminded me of a quote attributed to President Grant, when he said he only knew two tunes: “One of them is Yankee Doodle and the other one isn’t.” πŸ™‚ I am looking forward to the future!!! I am enjoying a Margarita as we speak, so cheers!! (I hope it’s ok to drink and read?)

  3. Bill MacDonald says:

    I felt like I was seeing an old friend in a new place — thank you for posting it.
    P.S. Girly ribbon, eh? Usually, I cringe when nude models introduce props — but I definitely agree with you on this one.

    • artmodel says:

      Thanks Bill! I agree with you about props, but in this case I’m actually inspired to buy a few colorful hair ribbons myself and wear them while posing πŸ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.