Day of the Gods (1894) by Paul Gauguin

Day of the Gods - Paul Gauguin - 1894

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Artwork Information

TitleDay of the Gods
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationArt Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US

About Day of the Gods

The artwork “Day of the Gods” was created by artist Paul Gauguin in 1894. This piece, executed in oil on canvas, exemplifies the Cloisonnism movement. It is considered an allegorical painting, and it is housed at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US.

“Day of the Gods” portrays a serene, mystical scene that is rich with symbolic imagery, reflective of Gauguin’s interest in the spiritual and mythological aspects of Tahitian culture. The composition foregrounds several figures of native Tahitians in various poses of rest and worship. In the center, a larger-than-life statue-like figure seems to rise from the earth, possibly representing a deity or spiritual presence. The background is divided between the tranquil blue sky and the distant purple mountains, with hints of vegetation and small figures that suggest everyday life.

Gauguin’s use of bold outlines and flat areas of color is characteristic of the Cloisonnism style, with vibrant hues that create a dreamlike and exotic atmosphere. The contours and forms are simplified and decorative, emphasizing the philosophical and imaginative nature of the work over realistic representation. The painting invites contemplation, offering a glimpse into an idyllic, primordial world infused with the spiritual and cultural essence of Tahiti as seen through Gauguin’s eyes.

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