Paul Gauguin

Woman Holding a Fruit; Where Are You Going ?

Woman Holding a Fruit; Where Are You Going ?
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Paul Gauguin
Painting, Oil on canvas, 92.5x73.5 cm
Origin: France, 1893

Tahiti was for Gauguin the embodiment of that primitive and unspoiled life of which he dreamed, of natural harmony and simplicity. He intially spent two years in Tahiti before returning to Paris for a short time. This work dates from that first period in Oceania, when the artist was still more concerned with the external attributes of the exotic world full of mystery, so unlike Europe. The impressions of the colours and vegetation, the appearance and rituals of the Tahitians, gave the artistic much material to work with.

An everyday episode in the islanders' life is here turned into the embodiment of the eternal rhythm of life, of harmony between man and nature. Standing in the foreground is a Tahitian girl with a fruit in her hand - the Eve of that eastern Paradise.

Rejecting the rules of traditional painting, and then of Impressionism, Gauguin went on to create his own individual style. The flat space, the rhythmic repetition of lines, forms and areas of colour, and the pure colours applied in broad masses combine to create a highly decorative effect.

Style: Post-Impressionism
Source of entry: State Museum of New Western Art, Moscow, 1948
Exibition: French Art: 19th - 20th centuries

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