Portrait of a mother (1894; Paris, France) by Paul Gauguin

Portrait of a mother - Paul Gauguin - 1894; Paris, France

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a mother
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1894; Paris, France
Dimensions41 x 33 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationStaatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

About Portrait of a mother

“Portrait of a Mother” is a notable work by the artist Paul Gauguin created in 1894 in Paris, France. This portrait is executed in oil on canvas, measuring 41 by 33 centimeters and exemplifies the Cloisonnism style, a movement inspired by both stained glass and Japanese prints. The artwork falls under the genre of portraiture and is currently housed at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany.

The artwork presents a female figure gazing slightly to the side, with a neutral but enigmatic expression. Gauguin’s use of bold, flat colors and strong outlines is characteristic of Cloisonnism, a technique meant to evoke the experience of observing a subject through partitions, much like cloisonné enamel work. The background is a rich yellow tone, a hue that often appears in Gauguin’s palette, which here provides a stark contrast to the subject’s dark hair and attire. The colors are vibrant yet harmoniously arranged, capturing the subject’s likeness with a simplicity that compels viewers to ponder her thoughts and demeanor. The overall composition conveys a sense of quiet dignity and conveys the artist’s unique interpretation of the sitter’s character.

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