Around the huts (1887; Martinique) by Paul Gauguin

Around the huts - Paul Gauguin - 1887; Martinique

Artwork Information

TitleAround the huts
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1887; Martinique
Dimensions90 x 55 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Around the huts

The artwork titled “Around the Huts” was created by artist Paul Gauguin in 1887 during his time in Martinique. It is an oil painting on canvas measuring 90 by 55 centimeters. This piece is associated with the Post-Impressionism movement and is classified as a genre painting, depicting a scene from everyday life. Currently, the painting resides in a private collection.

In the artwork, viewers are presented with a lush and vibrant scene that is filled with rich, earthy tones as well as patches of bright color, reflecting the tropical environment of Martinique. Gauguin’s unique style is evident in the bold outlines and the flat applications of color, an approach that breaks away from traditional perspective and modeling. Central to the composition is a group of figures engaged in everyday activities within a rural landscape.

The setting is tranquil and serene: the dense vegetation and palm trees of Martinique envelop rustic huts and the local inhabitants. In the foreground, several figures are seen participating in social interaction, likely a reflection of local life and customs. The tall tree trunk on the left side of the painting serves as a compositional anchor, leading the viewer’s eye upward and creating a contrast with the horizontal lines of the hut roofs. The brushstrokes are apparent and suggest the primacy of color over line, which is emblematic of the Post-Impressionist approach.

Gauguin’s depiction of the local Martinique scenery and its inhabitants is filtered through his subjective vision, which often romanticized and simplified the complexities of the places and cultures he visited. This work, like others from his time in the tropics, would later influence his more well-known works created in Tahiti, where his explorations of color, form, and non-European cultures were further developed.

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