Portrait of Atiti (c.1891; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Portrait of Atiti - Paul Gauguin - c.1891; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Atiti
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Datec.1891; French Polynesia
Dimensions30 x 21 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationKröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands

About Portrait of Atiti

The artwork titled “Portrait of Atiti” was created by Paul Gauguin, an esteemed artist, around 1891 in French Polynesia. This oil on canvas art piece exemplifies the Cloisonnism movement and measures 30 by 21 cm. It is characterized as a portrait and is currently housed at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands.

“Portrait of Atiti” by Gauguin is a striking depiction of a subject, likely a native of French Polynesia as inferred by the date and location of its creation. The figure is presented in a casual reclining pose, suggesting a sense of relaxation or reflection. The artwork is marked by the use of bold outlines and a vivid palette—hallmarks of the Cloisonnism style—with distinct flat areas of color enclosing the subject. The background is simplified, with a plain, dark hue that amplifies the focus on the figure, while a delicate floral detail near the top right corner offers a contrast to the otherwise unadorned environment.

The sitter’s facial features are rendered with particular attention, using nuanced color shifts to model the contours of the face and closed eyes, implying an air of tranquility. The white garment with its intricate pattern introduces textural variety within the composition, and a necklace with a pendant lies prominently against the clothing. Inherent in this piece is Gauguin’s engagement with the exotic and his fascination with the people and culture encountered during his time in the Pacific, elements that are recurrent in his oeuvre. Overall, the portrait captures a moment of intimate repose with a personal and evocative resonance.

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