Port de Grenelle (1875; France) by Paul Gauguin

Port de Grenelle - Paul Gauguin - 1875; France

Artwork Information

TitlePort de Grenelle
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1875; France
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Port de Grenelle

The artwork “Port de Grenelle” is a cityscape painting by the artist Paul Gauguin, crafted in 1875 within the environs of France. Gauguin, who would later become renowned for his contributions to Post-Impressionism, here aligns himself with the Impressionist movement, as seen in the piece’s stylistic hallmarks. The medium of choice for this artwork is oil on panel, which was a common selection for paintings of this era. Currently, “Port de Grenelle” is housed within a private collection, signifying that it is not on public display but held in the personal possession of an individual or entity.

The artwork captures a serene yet industrious scene along the banks of a river, likely the Seine as it flows through Paris near the Grenelle district. Gauguin’s application of rapid, visible brushstrokes imbues the painting with a sense of immediacy and movement that is characteristic of the Impressionist style, which sought to depict the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere. The perspective offers viewers a glimpse of the busy port, with its buildings and boats, while plumes of smoke rise in the distance, indicating the presence of industry. The play of light on the water creates a shimmering effect, and the sky above carries the suggestion of changeable weather, with the artist capturing the dynamic qualities of the natural and man-made elements coexisting within the cityscape. The color palette, though muted, is rich with earthy, natural tones, providing a sense of the time of day and the season when this moment was frozen on the panel. The looseness of the brushwork and the unadorned depiction speak to the authenticity of the urban experience during the period, as well as to Gauguin’s early artistic exploration before he embarked on his more vibrant, symbolist endeavors in the later stages of his career.

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