Madame Alexandre Kohler (1887; Paris, France) by Paul Gauguin

Madame Alexandre Kohler - Paul Gauguin - 1887; Paris, France

Artwork Information

TitleMadame Alexandre Kohler
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1887; Paris, France
Dimensions46.3 x 38 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism

About Madame Alexandre Kohler

The artwork titled “Madame Alexandre Kohler” is an oil painting executed by the revered Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin in 1887, within the cosmopolitan art sphere of Paris, France. Measuring 46.3 by 38 cm, this work is a portrait, focusing on capturing the likeness, personality, or mood of the individual depicted.

The artwork portrays a seated woman, presumably Madame Alexandre Kohler, positioned slightly off-center to the left. Her gaze is directed away from the viewer, giving the impression that she is caught in a moment of introspection or is possibly looking towards something outside of the canvas’s view. Her features are rendered with care, reflecting Gauguin’s unique handling of color and form, which distinguishes his approach from that of his contemporaries.

The woman is dressed in a dark-colored dress with a high collar and double-buttoned front, which suggests a degree of formality and decorum consistent with the time period. The color palette of the painting is relatively muted, with soft purples, blues, and flesh tones comprising her attire and visage. Noteworthy is Gauguin’s use of bold, defining strokes, that lend a sculptural quality to her face and dress.

In the background, a contrasting burst of warmer colors in reds and yellows hints at a setting beyond the immediate interior, although it is not clearly defined. To the right of the woman, the dark silhouette of what appears to be a sculptural piece or plant adds to the composition, creating a balanced interplay of foreground and background elements.

The textural quality of the brushwork is evident throughout the portrait, a characteristic trait of Gauguin’s Post-Impressionist style. He blends realistic detail with elements of abstraction, giving the artwork a sense of modernity whilst still maintaining a lifelike representation of the subject. This portrait exemplifies Gauguin’s experimental use of color and form, which contributed to the evolution of painting during the late 19th century.

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