At the pond (1887; Martinique) by Paul Gauguin

At the pond - Paul Gauguin - 1887; Martinique

Artwork Information

TitleAt the pond
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1887; Martinique
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationVan Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

About At the pond

“At the pond” is an artwork created in 1887 by the post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin during his time in Martinique. The artwork is an oil painting on canvas, exemplary of the genre painting style. It is currently housed at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and is a testament to Gauguin’s exploration of post-impressionistic techniques and his inclination towards depictions of rural and exotic locations.

The artwork portrays a serene, intimate moment beside a pond, enveloped by a lush landscape. Two figures—a standing woman and a seated man—are present in the foreground, immersed in what appears to be a casual, perhaps contemplative, interaction. The man is wearing a blue garment, while the woman’s attire is rendered in white, enhancing the contrast between the figures and their verdant surroundings. The man’s posture, with one leg crossed over the other and his arm resting on his knee, conveys a sense of relaxation and pause.

The background features verdantly painted trees with reflections dappling on the pond’s surface, suggesting the presence of gentle light filtering through the foliage. Gauguin’s brushwork is evident in the textured patches of color that comprise both the figures and the environment, demonstrating his departure from the more precise and realistic depictions of his predecessors and moving towards the more abstracted, expressive qualities of Post-Impressionism. The color palette is rich and earthy, with variations of greens, browns, and blues dominating the scene, punctuated by subtle hints of red and yellow, capturing the vibrancy of the Martinique landscape.

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