Harbour Scene, Dieppe (c.1883; Paris, France) by Paul Gauguin

Harbour Scene, Dieppe - Paul Gauguin - c.1883; Paris, France

Artwork Information

TitleHarbour Scene, Dieppe
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Datec.1883; Paris, France
Dimensions60.2 x 72.3 cm
Art MovementImpressionism

About Harbour Scene, Dieppe

“Harbour Scene, Dieppe” is an oil on canvas artwork by Paul Gauguin, a renowned artist associated with the Impressionist movement. Created around 1883 in Paris, France, this cityscape depicts a vivid maritime setting. The artwork measures approximately 60.2 by 72.3 centimeters. It captures the essence of a bustling harbor replete with ships and the architecture of the coastal town in the background.

The artwork is an evocative depiction of the harbor of Dieppe, a port on the Normandy coast. Gauguin employs a palette of warm and cool tones to bring to life the reflections in the water, the robust built environment, and the bustling harbor atmosphere. Small boats are moored in the foreground, while a series of larger vessels and masts punctuate the mid-ground, exhibiting a rhythmic yet bustling quality distinct to port scenes. The cityscape in the backdrop is rendered in naturalistic detail, with architectural features like the spire of a church, various buildings, and a waterfront promenade. The sky above, filled with dynamic, swirling brushstrokes, suggests movement and the transient quality of light.

What is particularly notable about this piece is how it deviates from Gauguin’s later, more recognized Post-Impressionist and Symbolist works, which often featured vibrant colors and exotic subject matter. Instead, this cityscape offers a more restrained palette, indicating the artist’s exploration of the interplay between natural light and the changing atmospheric conditions over the seascape, a key concern of the Impressionist movement. The brushwork is loose and energetic, with the juxtaposition of light and shadow creating a vivid sense of both time and place.

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