Kneeling cow (1888; France) by Paul Gauguin

Kneeling cow - Paul Gauguin - 1888; France

Artwork Information

TitleKneeling cow
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1888; France
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Kneeling cow

The artwork titled “Kneeling cow” is an oil on canvas painting created by the artist Paul Gauguin in 1888 during his time in France. It is a significant piece within the Post-Impressionism art movement, specifically classified as an animal painting genre. Currently, the artwork is part of a private collection.

The artwork portrays a cow, at rest, seemingly kneeling or lying down on the ground. The cow, predominantly in shades of black and white, contrasts with the background, which consists of earthy and green hues, indicative of a natural, outdoor setting. The cow’s position is relaxed, conveying a sense of tranquility. The painting’s brushwork is visible, with a variety of textures that suggest a rich, tactile experience. Gauguin has applied the paint in a way that emphasizes the form and presence of the cow within its environment.

In the background, there is a suggestion of foliage and the outline of what may be other elements of the rural landscape, such as rocks or low-lying structures, though these details are somewhat abstracted and not the focal point of the work. The tree trunk to the left frames the composition, adding a vertical counterpoint to the horizontal lines of the reclining cow.

This piece exemplifies Gauguin’s approach to Post-Impressionism, where the artist moved away from the precise realism of earlier periods and towards a more expressive and emotive representation, focused on the use of color and form to convey deeper meanings and emotions.

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