Ia orana Maria (Hail Mary) (1894 – 1895) by Paul Gauguin

Ia orana Maria (Hail Mary) - Paul Gauguin - 1894 - 1895

Artwork Information

TitleIa orana Maria (Hail Mary)
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1894 - 1895
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationArt Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US

About Ia orana Maria (Hail Mary)

“Ia orana Maria (Hail Mary)” is a genre painting by Paul Gauguin, created between 1894 and 1895. This work of art embodies the Post-Impressionism movement and is crafted using zinc as the medium for printmaking. The artwork is part of the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, located in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

The artwork features an ethereal composition where two central figures can be discerned, likely representing a Tahitian reinterpretation of the Virgin Mary and the Christ child, reflecting Gauguin’s interest in incorporating local culture with religious iconography. The figures appear serene and are depicted with a distinct linear style that is characteristic of Gauguin’s later works. Contrasting the spiritual and tranquil central figures, there are suggestive outlines of angelic presences in the background, adding a layer of mysticism to the piece. The print medium has allowed for subtle variations in shading and texture, contributing to the artwork’s contemplative and symbolic nature. Gauguin’s signature can be seen at the bottom left, attesting to its authenticity. The juxtaposition of the religious subject matter with the exotic, simplified forms and the subdued monochromatic palette reflects the artist’s innovative approach to Post-Impressionism, pushing the boundaries of artistic expression during that period.

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