Dahlias in a copper vase (1885; Paris, France) by Paul Gauguin

Dahlias in a copper vase - Paul Gauguin - 1885; Paris, France

Artwork Information

TitleDahlias in a copper vase
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1885; Paris, France
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Dahlias in a copper vase

The artwork “Dahlias in a copper vase” is a creation of Paul Gauguin from the year 1885, painted while he was in Paris, France. It is an oil on canvas piece, embodying the Impressionist movement’s sensibilities. This still life genre painting is part of a private collection, showcasing Gauguin’s skill in capturing the vibrancy and form of his subject matter.

In the artwork, one observes a lush bouquet of dahlias arranged in a copper vase, prominently positioned at the center on a surface that appears to be a wooden table. The blossoms are depicted with a variety of warm hues ranging from deep reds and oranges to gentle pinks and creams, suggesting the rich palette typically associated with Gauguin’s art. The texture of the flowers is rendered with swift, confident brushstrokes, characteristic of the Impressionist technique, aimed at conveying the essence and light rather than the minute detail. Notably, petals are not finely delineated; instead, they are implied through color contrast and contour lines.

The copper vase itself has a reflective quality, subtly capturing and bending the surrounding light and color. It is adorned with motifs that are only suggested rather than intricately detailed, honoring the spontaneous style of the painting movement to which Gauguin belonged. A sense of depth is achieved with shadows and muted tones in the background and on the surface where the vase rests, drawing the viewer’s attention towards the floral arrangement. Scattered on the table are a few loose petals and a fallen dahlia flower, adding to the natural and somewhat casual feel of the composition. The muted background allows the vivid colors of the flowers to stand out, and the overall impression is one of a harmonious, though fleeting, moment captured in time.

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