Caribbean Woman, or Female Nude with Sunflowers (1889; France) by Paul Gauguin

Caribbean Woman, or Female Nude with Sunflowers - Paul Gauguin - 1889; France

Artwork Information

TitleCaribbean Woman, or Female Nude with Sunflowers
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1889; France
Dimensions64 x 54 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Caribbean Woman, or Female Nude with Sunflowers

The artwork titled “Caribbean Woman, or Female Nude with Sunflowers” was created by artist Paul Gauguin in the year 1889, within the context of the French art scene. Executed in oil on wood, the work measures 64 by 54 centimeters and is considered part of the nude painting (nu) genre. It is associated with the Cloisonnism movement, and as of the information provided, it resides in a private collection.

The artwork reveals a standing female figure prominently positioned against a background filled with sunflowers. The figure is depicted in profile view with her arms raised and hands clasping her hair, which cascades down the back of her head. She appears to be nude, and her pose and the placement of the sunflowers around her form a harmonious interaction between the human figure and the flora, suggestive of a connection between nature and humanity.

Gauguin’s style is reflected in the bold outlines and flat planes of color—a hallmark of Cloisonnism, a movement known for its emphasis on clear outlines and separation of colors. The color palette is somewhat muted, yet it features expressive contrasts between the earthy tones of the figure’s skin and the vibrant yellows of the sunflowers. Additionally, there is a stylized use of form and pattern, particularly in how the sunflowers, leaves, and other decorative elements are rendered, which contributes to the overall flatness and decorative quality of the painting.

The artwork embodies themes common to Gauguin’s oeuvre, such as an idealized depiction of non-Western subjects and a yearning for a primitive, unspoiled existence which he often associated with the cultures of tropical locales. Despite its connection to such themes, the painting also resonates with the artist’s unique sense of form and color, making it distinctive within his body of work. The private ownership of this piece underscores its value and the esteem in which Gauguin’s work is held among collectors.

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