Cows on the Seashore (1886; France) by Paul Gauguin

Cows on the Seashore - Paul Gauguin - 1886; France

Artwork Information

TitleCows on the Seashore
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1886; France
Dimensions74.9 x 111.8 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Cows on the Seashore

The artwork titled “Cows on the Seashore” was created by the French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin in 1886. This oil on canvas painting measures 74.9 x 111.8 cm and can be classified within the landscape genre. As a characteristic piece from the Post-Impressionism movement, it illustrates Gauguin’s departure from the naturalism of Impressionism towards more symbolic content. Originally painted in France, this piece is currently part of a private collection.

The artwork presents a vivid seascape where the rugged terrain meets the forceful waves of the sea. A pair of cows are portrayed in the foreground, gracefully integrated into the natural setting, which is a recurring theme in Gauguin’s work. One cow stands, offering a profile view, while the other reclines on the sand. A female figure, possibly a peasant, is seen tending to the cows. The juxtaposition of human and animal life against the untamed backdrop of the coast creates a serene, yet dynamic, composition. Gauguin’s use of bold colors and visible brushstrokes enhances the raw, textural quality of the scene, helping to evoke the sensation of the windswept coastline. The sky above merges with the horizon in a harmony of blues and whites, reinforcing the contemplative mood of the painting. Through this work, Gauguin captures the essence of pastoral life by the sea, inviting reflection upon humanity’s connection with nature.

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