Breton Woman with a Pitcher (1888; Pont-aven, France) by Paul Gauguin

Breton Woman with a Pitcher - Paul Gauguin - 1888; Pont-aven, France

Artwork Information

TitleBreton Woman with a Pitcher
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1888; Pont-aven, France
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Breton Woman with a Pitcher

The artwork titled “Breton Woman with a Pitcher” was created by Paul Gauguin in 1888 during his time in Pont-Aven, France. This oil on canvas is an exemplary piece of the Post-Impressionism movement, specifically within the genre painting category. The art belongs to a private collection, making it a cherished possession away from the public eye.

The artwork is characterized by Gauguin’s distinctive use of color and form, which diverges from the naturalistic constraints of impressionism towards a more emotive and symbolic representation of reality. The scene depicts a Breton woman in traditional dress, set against a vivid landscape. The use of bold, flat colors and a certain disregard for perspective are stylistic choices that emphasize the Post-Impressionist leaning towards abstraction. The juxtaposition of the figure’s dark clothes and white headpiece against the brightly colored foliage serves to draw the viewer’s attention to her as the central subject. The way in which she is lightly bending over, possibly drawing water from a stream, contributes a sense of quietude to the vivid environment. Gauguin’s work often explores the lives and environments of Breton peasants, granting them an air of timeless dignity and simplicity. This particular piece reflects Gauguin’s continued exploration of the synthesis of natural forms, color, and symbolism, which would become hallmarks of his later art and influence on modern art.

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