Seascape with Cow on the Edge of a Cliff (1888) by Paul Gauguin

Seascape with Cow on the Edge of a Cliff - Paul Gauguin - 1888

Artwork Information

TitleSeascape with Cow on the Edge of a Cliff
ArtistPaul Gauguin
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions73 x 60 cm (28 3/4 x 23 5/8 in)
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationMusée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
Location Created Pont-aven, France

About Seascape with Cow on the Edge of a Cliff

The artwork “Seascape with Cow on the Edge of a Cliff” is an oil on canvas painted by Paul Gauguin in 1888. As a distinguished piece of the Post-Impressionism art movement, it measures 73 x 60 cm and currently resides in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France. Created in Pont-Aven, France, this landscape genre painting exemplifies Gauguin’s style and thematic preference of the time.

The artwork presents a bold and vivid landscape, characterized by Gauguin’s signature use of strong colors and heavy outlines which contribute to the Post-Impressionist desire to convey emotional truth and the artist’s inner feelings. The composition is arranged around a dominating dark figure of a cow in the foreground, which is set against a richly colored cliffside. The cow’s stance near the edge accentuates a sense of precariousness and balance with nature.

Foreground cliffs create a visual frame leading to a cerulean blue sea that stretches to the horizon under a deep twilight sky, lightly adorned by the crescent moon. The contrast between the orange and red hues of the cliffs and the lush green of the grass adds a dynamic quality to the scene. Gauguin’s typical disregard for naturalistic color in favor of emotional expression is quite evident, making the landscape simultaneously surreal and grounded. The painting stands as an important work within Gauguin’s oeuvre and the broader context of Post-Impressionistic landscape painting.

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