Perfect days (1896; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Perfect days - Paul Gauguin - 1896; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitlePerfect days
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1896; French Polynesia
Dimensions94 x 130 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationMusée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon, France

About Perfect days

The artwork “Perfect days” by Paul Gauguin was created in 1896, during Gauguin’s time in French Polynesia. This oil on canvas painting measures 94 by 130 centimeters and is a representation of the Post-Impressionism art movement. It falls under the genre painting category, depicting scenes of everyday life. The artwork is part of the collection at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, located in Lyon, France.

The painting vividly portrays a group of Tahitian figures in a lush, tropical setting. The defining characteristics of Post-Impressionist works, such as the use of bold colors, apparent brushstrokes, and a departure from realistic representations, are evident. Gauguin employs a symbolic use of color and a flat perspective, which disregards the traditional rules of proportion and depth. The figures are centered amidst a backdrop of flora and fauna, embodying a serene and unspoiled environment. The color palette consists primarily of earthy reds and greens, imbuing the scene with warmth and harmony.

Distinctively, Gauguin imbues the native subjects with a sense of calm dignity and grace, as they are depicted engaging in what appears to be daily activities or rituals. The lack of interaction between the figures and direct engagement with the viewer creates a sense of contemplation and silent communication. The figures are stylized, with forms that are simplified yet evocative of the essence of the subjects. The artwork encapsulates Gauguin’s fascination with the exotic and his interpretation of the idyllic life he perceived in Tahiti, far from the industrialized European society of his era.

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