Portrait of two children (Paul and Jean Schuffneker) (c.1889; France) by Paul Gauguin

Portrait of two children (Paul and Jean Schuffneker) - Paul Gauguin - c.1889; France

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of two children (Paul and Jean Schuffneker)
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Datec.1889; France
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationNy Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark

About Portrait of two children (Paul and Jean Schuffneker)

The artwork titled “Portrait of two children (Paul and Jean Schuffneker)” is an oil on canvas painting by the artist Paul Gauguin, created around 1889 in France. It exemplifies the Cloisonnism art movement and belongs to the portrait genre. This painting is currently housed in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The artwork depicts two young children sitting together; both appear to be wearing dresses of a rich blue tone. The child to the left has a more subdued expression, with dark hair and a direct gaze that suggests introspection or seriousness. This child’s hands are folded neatly on her lap, and she wears a dress adorned with simple floral embellishments.

The child to the right is portrayed with a lighter hair color and bears a somewhat startled or surprised expression. The child’s dress has a white collar, and there is a playful contrast with an orange item resembling a shawl or bib decorated with a black pattern encircling the neck. In the right hand, there are objects that appear to be cherries or small fruits, adding a touch of innocence to the scene.

The background and setting are minimal, with forms simplified in a manner consistent with the Cloisonnism technique, which emphasizes bold outlines and blocks of color. A pattern of red flowers against a golden yellow backdrop adds vibrancy to the composition, while the children themselves are foregrounded on a bench or similar seating structure with a flush of pink. The overall color palette is warm and dominated by primary and secondary colors, lending the artwork a bold and graphic quality. Gauguin’s distinctive style bridges Post-Impressionism with early expressions of Symbolism, paralleled by the emotional depth conveyed through the children’s expressions and the stylized presentation of their surroundings.

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