He also used Post-Impressionism as an art of movement. This painting was amongst the finest of his early work and played an important role in his exploration of sculpture. The illustration represents the painted version of the Serf, another extraordinary work by Henri Matisse. It is done meticulously so that this painting seems to be sculpted on the canvas.
His colour pallet is filled with vibrant and very well blended and combined pigments. They include heavy swatches of blue that make up most of the back wall, with shades of green and purple complimenting the blue. This gives the wall a very astonishing fusion of tones and colours. The ocher hue also adds to the colourful background. The subject of the painting is a nude man standing with his feet slightly apart. His hair and beard, which covers half his face, are black, contrasting to the skin tone of the subject. The feet were painted using blurred strokes that just give an idea of the subject's feet and toes.
The proportions of the subjects' features, that is, the hands, the feet, and the size of the head, are almost accurate to that of a real being giving an idea of realism to the photo. Henri Matisse, for the body, has used a combination of a number of colours, for example, cream, yellow, brown, and black. There is excellent generality in the planes of the body, with the intersections in space being abrupt. The high-hued background of the subject forms a perfect contrast with the sombre creation of the model.
Henri Matisse has been able to communicate deep emotion simply by the stance and posture of the subject. The back slightly arched, and his shoulders a bit dropped. The left hand is in a sort of fist position, yet the other hand is not. The diagram shows a remarkable resemblance to the sculpture Serf from the body of the subject to the base on which both the two subjects stand. The artist portrays violent, colouristic juxtaposition that has been creatively moderated by the focus on the illusion of bodily mass. The work has resembled a kind of Proto-Cubism, having been painted in 1900. The oil on canvas painting by Henri Matisse is currently located in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA.