Joyousness (1892; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Joyousness - Paul Gauguin - 1892; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1892; French Polynesia
Art MovementCloisonnism

About Joyousness

“Joyousness,” created by the artist Paul Gauguin in 1892, is a notable work executed during his time in French Polynesia. Utilizing mediums such as gouache and watercolor, Gauguin crafted this artwork in a style associated with Cloisonnism, a movement known for its bold outlines and flat areas of color. Categorized within the genre of design, the artwork displays distinctive characteristics of the said movement and encapsulates the thematic essence of its title.

The artwork presents a fan-shaped composition, featuring an idyllic and tranquil scene. At the forefront, two figures are seated: one woman, positioned on the left, regards the viewer with a direct gaze, while the other, to the right, seems engaged in a thoughtful conversation. The lush flora in the foreground, with vibrant red accents of flowers, contrasts dramatically against the earthy tones of the background landscape. In the mid-ground, a procession of figures emerge, depicted in subtle silhouettes, resonating with a sense of ritual or dance. These silhouettes add to the narrative quality of the artwork, suggesting a celebration or communal event occurring within the depth of the serene Polynesian backdrop. The artwork’s muted yet varied palette, augmented by the strong outlines of the figures and elements, exemplifies Gauguin’s exploration of color and form, and his departure from the realist norms of the time. The overall composition conveys an atmosphere of calm and serenity, in line with its title, “Joyousness.”

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