Self portrait with mandolin (1889; France) by Paul Gauguin

Self portrait with mandolin - Paul Gauguin - 1889; France

Artwork Information

TitleSelf portrait with mandolin
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1889; France
Dimensions61 x 50 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Self portrait with mandolin

The artwork titled “Self-portrait with Mandolin” is a creation by the esteemed artist Paul Gauguin, completed in the year 1889, during a period of artistic flourishing in France. As a piece painted in oil on canvas, it is an exemplary representation of the Post-Impressionism art movement. The artwork measures 61 by 50 centimeters and takes the form of a self-portrait, a genre that offers a deep, introspective look into the creator’s self. Currently, this work is housed within a private collection.

The artwork showcases a figure presumed to be the artist himself, depicted with a mandolin. Gauguin has employed a palette that speaks to the vibrancy and unconventional use of color typical of Post-Impressionist works. The tones are earthy yet expressive, contributing to a somber and contemplative mood. The brushwork is discernible and lends a textural quality to the piece, allowing us to sense the artist’s hand at work.

The figure in the artwork is engaged in an introspective activity, perhaps strumming or simply holding the mandolin. The instrument, though not in sharp focus, is integral to the composition, as it intersects the figure and guides the viewer’s gaze across the canvas. The background appears abstract and simplifies what might be an interior space merging with elements of nature or a personal mindscape. Gauguin’s self-portrait does not confront the viewer directly but instead invites an observational dialogue, where we are witness to a private moment of artistic expression or reflection. The facial features, particularly the heavy-lidded eyes and the pronounced line of the nose, are rendered with a certain stylistic exaggeration that adds to the intensity of the portrayal. Overall, the artwork is a profound exploration of identity and creativity filtered through the unique lens of Gauguin’s Post-Impressionistic style.

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