Eiaha Ohipa or Tahitians in a Room (1896; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Eiaha Ohipa or Tahitians in a Room - Paul Gauguin - 1896; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleEiaha Ohipa or Tahitians in a Room
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1896; French Polynesia
Dimensions65 x 75 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationPushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia

About Eiaha Ohipa or Tahitians in a Room

The artwork “Eiaha Ohipa or Tahitians in a Room” was crafted by Paul Gauguin in 1896, during a time when he was residing in French Polynesia. It is an oil on canvas painting, measuring 65 by 75 centimeters, and exemplifies the Cloisonnism style. The genre painting is part of the collection of the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia. The work depicts a scene of life in Tahiti and is indicative of Gauguin’s post-impressionist exploration of color, form, and the depiction of indigenous cultures.

In the artwork, there are several Tahitian individuals situated within a room. Dominating the foreground, two figures command the viewer’s attention. On the left, a seated woman is prominently displayed; she is topless, with her gaze directed off to the side, offering an air of reflective calm. Adorned with a white loin cloth and a red flower behind her ear, her posture and accessories hint at the traditional aspect of Tahitian culture. Next to her sits a second figure, this person appears to be wearing a loose, patterned garment, their head tilted in a manner suggesting repose or contemplation.

In the background, one can observe more individuals at a distance, and there is a suggestion of a domesticated animal lying close to the primary figures. A black dog occupies a central position behind the two foreground figures, seemingly in a stance of alertness, directing its attention outside the confines of the depicted room. The scene as a whole is painted using a palette that conjures the vibrant, yet tempered, colors of the tropics, creating an atmosphere that is at once serene and introspective.

The intentional use of flattened spaces and strong outlines in the artwork are characteristic of Cloisonnism, an approach pioneered by Gauguin that was influenced by both traditional Japanese prints and stained glass techniques. This method allows for the expressive, almost dreamlike quality of the scene, separating color fields with dark contours. Overall, the painting offers an intimate glimpse into the life and environment of the Tahitian people, as seen through the eyes of a European artist deeply interested in capturing the essence of a world beyond the Western experience.

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