Coastal Landscape from Martinique (1887; Martinique) by Paul Gauguin

Coastal Landscape from Martinique - Paul Gauguin - 1887; Martinique

Artwork Information

TitleCoastal Landscape from Martinique
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1887; Martinique
Dimensions54 x 90 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationNy Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark

About Coastal Landscape from Martinique

The artwork “Coastal Landscape from Martinique” is an oil on canvas created by the renowned Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin in 1887 during his time in Martinique. Measuring 54 x 90 cm, this landscape piece showcases Gauguin’s distinctive style and vivid use of color. The painting is currently housed at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The artwork captures a vivid portrayal of a tropical coastline, alive with rich, vibrant colors and dynamic brushstrokes characteristic of Post-Impressionism. Gauguin’s composition is infused with a natural lushness, offering a combination of wild vegetation and domestic tranquility under an expansive and expressive sky. The foreground is dominated by a dynamic array of trees and foliage, painted with a sense of movement that echoes the swirling patterns of the clouds above. Dark trunks and branches crisscross the canvas, creating rhythm and leading the viewer’s eye towards the middle ground.

This part of the composition features small figures, perhaps local inhabitants, situated by the shoreline and near structures that give a sense of human presence without overtaking the primacy of the natural environment. The varying shades of green and brown vegetation stand in contrast to the brilliant azure of the sea and sky. The sea itself, dotted with boats, stretches towards the horizon, meeting a mountainous backdrop that adds a sense of depth to the scene.

In “Coastal Landscape from Martinique,” Gauguin’s use of color and form goes beyond mere representation to evoke a mood that is at once tranquil and suffused with a wild, almost untamed energy. The painting is an embodiment of the artist’s search for an Edenic simplicity and an escape from the industrialized European society, reflecting his pursuit of a more primal and essential state of being that he associates with the so-called primitive cultures he encountered during his travels.

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