From the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia:
This work was painted during Matisse's first trip to Morocco in 1912. His many new, strong impressions gained during that first acquaintance with the Orient, the direct contact with a world so very different from his own, demanded new means of expression adequate both to his thoughts and emotions and to the Orient itself. Avoiding overt oriental exoticism and ethnographical pedantry, Matisse filled the painting with his joy at the natural informality of the model, joy at the sun, joy at light-filled colour. The youth, a stable-hand at a Tangiers hotel, stands easily and naturally, the narrow canvas format complementing his long-legged, light figure. Matisse captures the dark skin, the bright white shirt, the pure colours of the waistcoat and short trouserss. The figure of Amido has mass and volume and yet is somewhat asymmetrical, twisted in space, creating a sense of dynamism, despite the boy's calm pose. Matisse selected this painting for the Moscow collector Sergey Shchukin.