Breton Fisherman (1888; Pont-aven, France) by Paul Gauguin

Breton Fisherman - Paul Gauguin - 1888; Pont-aven, France

Artwork Information

TitleBreton Fisherman
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1888; Pont-aven, France
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Breton Fisherman

The artwork “Breton Fisherman” was created by Paul Gauguin in 1888 while he was in Pont-Aven, France. This oil on canvas piece is an exemplar of the Post-Impressionism movement and falls within the genre painting category. “Breton Fisherman” is currently held in a private collection.

The painting portrays a serene coastal scene steeped in the rhythms of daily life. In the foreground, a group of fishermen with their backs to the viewer are engaging in various activities by a gentle river. One fisherman appears to be standing in the shallow water, perhaps tending to a net or inspecting the water’s edge, while others are seated or standing on the riverbank. The figure compositions and their interactions with the landscape projects a sense of humble labor and connection with the environment.

The landscape is rendered in vibrant, textured brushstrokes—a characteristic approach of Post-Impressionist work, which often emphasized the artist’s perception and emotional response to a subject over strict realism. Gauguin applied vigorous and loose strokes to infuse the scene with dynamic energy. The color palette is dominated by greens, yellows, and browns, which mirror the earthy tones of the natural surroundings. The overcast sky suggests a tranquil, perhaps moody atmosphere, and the rolling landscape in the background conveys a sense of enduring tranquility.

In summation, “Breton Fisherman” is a quintessential Gauguin piece that showcases his unique style and Post-Impressionist vision through a portrayal of simple daily life, intertwined with a profound impression of the natural world.

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