Portrait of a woman (Marie Lagadu) (1888; Arles-sur-tech, France) by Paul Gauguin

Portrait of a woman (Marie Lagadu) - Paul Gauguin - 1888; Arles-sur-tech, France

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a woman (Marie Lagadu)
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1888; Arles-sur-tech, France
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Portrait of a woman (Marie Lagadu)

The artwork titled “Portrait of a Woman (Marie Lagadu)” is an oil on canvas painting by the renowned artist Paul Gauguin created in the year 1888 in Arles-sur-tech, France. This portrait is an exemplification of the Post-Impressionism art movement, primarily focusing on the depiction of a female subject. Currently, the artwork resides within a private collection, indicating that it is not on public display.

The artwork presents the viewer with a woman seated against a somewhat abstract and color-rich background, typical of Gauguin’s style during this period. She appears contemplative, with her gaze directed away from the viewer, imparting a sense of introspection or detachment. Her facial features are rendered with Gauguin’s characteristically flat planes of color and with a subdued palette that emphasizes the natural hues of skin, fabric, and the environment. The woman’s attire seems simple yet bold, with the orange of her garment providing a warm contrast to the darker tones of her shawl or coat. A white headpiece wraps around her hair, giving her a traditional or perhaps regional appearance.

The background is composed of flat areas of color with elemental shapes hinting at a domestic interior. The vertical and horizontal lines suggest windowpanes, while the varying shades of green and yellow in the background could represent both the artificial interior light and the natural light outside, blurring the interior and exterior spaces. Gauguin’s technique here, employing broad, flat areas of color and a disregard for strict naturalism, contributed to his reputation as a Post-Impressionist, striving to convey emotional resonance over realistic representation.

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