Riders on the Beach I (1902; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Riders on the Beach I - Paul Gauguin - 1902; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleRiders on the Beach I
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1902; French Polynesia
Dimensions66 x 76 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationFolkwang Museum, Essen, Germany

About Riders on the Beach I

“Riders on the Beach I” is an oil on canvas artwork by Paul Gauguin created in 1902 while he was in French Polynesia. This artwork falls under the Cloisonnism art movement, measuring 66 cm by 76 cm. Classified as a genre painting, the piece presently resides at the Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany.

The artwork depicts a group of riders on horseback on a beach. The figures are aligned diagonally across the composition, offering a dynamic and somewhat rhythmic visualization of the scene. The riders are rendered with a simplified and stylized form that is characteristic of Gauguin’s approach to post-impressionism and specifically to the Cloisonnist style, which is known for bold outlines and flat areas of color. The colors used in the painting are vivid yet earthy, with a rich color palette that captures the natural tones of the landscape and the tropical atmosphere. The sea and sky in the background are depicted with broad, sweeping strokes of blue and pale hues, setting a serene backdrop to the activity in the foreground. The beach beneath the horses’ hooves is painted with lighter color, possibly indicating the sunlit sands of the tropical environment. The overall impression is one of harmony and peace, consistent with Gauguin’s usual themes during his time in the South Seas.

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