River Aven below moun Saint Marguerite (1888; Pont-aven, France) by Paul Gauguin

River Aven below moun Saint Marguerite - Paul Gauguin - 1888; Pont-aven, France

Artwork Information

TitleRiver Aven below moun Saint Marguerite
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1888; Pont-aven, France
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationArtizon Museum, Tokyo, Japan

About River Aven below moun Saint Marguerite

The artwork “River Aven below Mount Saint Marguerite” is a landscape painting by Paul Gauguin, dated to 1888. Gauguin, a post-impressionist artist, created this work in Pont-Aven, France, utilizing oil on canvas as his medium. Currently, the artwork is housed in the Artizon Museum located in Tokyo, Japan. The genre of the painting places it firmly within the landscape tradition, offering a unique view and interpretation that reflect the post-impressionist movement’s values.

The artwork exemplifies Gauguin’s post-impressionist style, characterized by bold color choices and expressive brushwork that goes beyond the naturalistic representations of earlier impressionists. The scene depicts the River Aven as it winds its way through the countryside below Mont Saint Marguerite. A sense of tranquility imbues the painting, with soft, earthy tones used to render the vast expanse of the landscape. In the foreground, there are prominent, almost sculptural tree forms, stripped of their foliage, suggesting a time of year outside the lushness of summer. The river reflects the colors of the sky, hinting at the interplay of light and water so often explored by artists of this movement.

The middle ground reveals gently sloping hills, punctuated by a meandering path and sparsely populated with simple rural structures, giving a glimpse into the pastoral life of the region. The overall texture of the painting hints at the physicality of the landscape, with visible brushstrokes creating a sensation of movement and life. The palette chosen by Gauguin shows natural greens and browns, offset by the grey and blue of the sky and water, coming together to create a harmonious and serene composition, inviting the viewer into a moment of contemplative observation.

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