A couple of observations about Paul Gauguin


A quick visit this morning to the Google Art Project and in particular to Paul Gauguin’s works. I use these visits as an antidote against any delusion that I might be developing that what I digitally draw/paint has any merit at all as art. I am sure there is some psychology at work when I try to test myself against the pantheon of the art world but there is no point in discussing it.

I have always greatly admired Gauguin’s works, especially his signature Tahitian series, because they are in emphatic defiance of his European aesthetics. Tahiti was his escape from what he called "everything that is artificial and conventional" in the European civilization.

There is much to choose from Gauguin’s works but I have chosen these two landscapes only to make a point about the master’s extraordinary talent in capturing the contrasting colors, light and landscapes in these two works.

The first obviously represents Tahitian landscape (painted in 1891) while the second shows Pont-Aven in France’s Brittany region (1888). I leave it your own visual acuity to see the contrast for yourself. It is subtle and yet so telling. The greens and browns in the Tahitian Landscape are so very different from the greens and the browns in Pont-Aven. The texture of the grass is also so markedly different. You get the feeling that the painter is steadfastly avoiding being distinct from what he has painted. He seems to merge in his own paintings.


Tahitian Landscape, 1891


Landscape near Pont-Aven, 1888

The pastoral nature of the landscapes in both have a quality of slowing you down and almost fuse your existence with what you see on the canvases.

You must disregard my unnecessary interpretation. The painter has already shown what he wanted to show. There is no need for any mediation or interpretation by me. I do it only because it helps me write this post.


About chutiumsulfate

South Asians can infer from my name what I am. View all posts by chutiumsulfate

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