Self portrait with spectacles (1903; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Self portrait with spectacles - Paul Gauguin - 1903; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleSelf portrait with spectacles
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1903; French Polynesia
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationKunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland

About Self portrait with spectacles

The artwork entitled “Self-portrait with Spectacles” is a creation by the artist Paul Gauguin from the year 1903 during his time in French Polynesia. This oil on canvas piece is a quintessential example of the Post-Impressionism art movement and falls under the genre of self-portrait. Currently, the artwork is housed in the Kunstmuseum Bern located in Bern, Switzerland. Gauguin’s introspective work reflects the distinct style and innovative approach that Post-Impressionist artists of his era were known for.

In this self-portrait, Gauguin depicts himself in a frontal and close-up manner, highlighting distinctive features primarily concentrated in the face. Rendered with the textured and layered brushwork characteristic of Post-Impressionism, the artwork conveys a sense of depth and complexity. Gauguin’s expression is solemn and introspective, wearing spectacles that signify a contemplative aura.

The palette is subdued, with an emphasis on earthy tones punctuated by the lighter tones of his shirt and the glints of light on his spectacle lenses. The background appears abstract and nondescript, directing the viewer’s focus immediately to the artist’s face. Even within the constraints of the muted color scheme, Gauguin demonstrates a profound ability to capture and convey his own psychological state, an exploration that was central to many Post-Impressionists’ works. Overall, the self-portrait stands as a testament to Gauguin’s self-examination and his contribution to early modernism.

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