A man with axe (1891; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

A man with axe - Paul Gauguin - 1891; French Polynesia

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Artwork Information

TitleA man with axe
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1891; French Polynesia
Dimensions92 x 70 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About A man with axe

The artwork “A Man with an Axe” by Paul Gauguin was created in 1891 while the artist resided in French Polynesia. It is an oil on canvas piece, fitting within the Cloisonnism art movement, which is characterized by bold, flat forms separated by dark contours. The work measures 92 by 70 centimeters and falls under the genre painting category, illustrating scenes or events from everyday life. Currently, this painting is part of a private collection.

In the artwork, a man is depicted in a dynamic pose, wielding an axe with both hands, capturing the moment with great intensity. Positioned in the foreground, the central figure is semi-nude, drawing the viewer’s eye to his toned muscles and the power of his actions. His traditional clothing hints at his cultural identity. The background features a tranquil sea with a distant sailboat, contrasting sharply with the vigorous activity of the man. The use of vivid colors and the distinction between the various elements through clear outlines exemplify the characteristics of Cloisonnism. The scene portrays a physical labor that likely holds significance within the context of his community’s daily life, thus providing cultural insights into the peoples of the region that Gauguin experienced during his travels.

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