Self Portrait with the Yellow Christ (1890; France) by Paul Gauguin

Self Portrait with the Yellow Christ - Paul Gauguin - 1890; France

Artwork Information

TitleSelf Portrait with the Yellow Christ
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1890; France
Dimensions38 x 46 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism

About Self Portrait with the Yellow Christ

The artwork titled “Self Portrait with the Yellow Christ” is a significant piece created by artist Paul Gauguin in 1890 during his stay in France. This oil on canvas composition measures 38 x 46 cm and is styled in the Cloisonnism technique, a movement known for bold outlines and flat areas of color. Classified within the self-portrait genre, the piece exhibits the profound personal and expressive qualities for which Gauguin is renowned.

In the artwork, the artist renders himself in the foreground with a contemplative gaze that seems to engage the viewer directly. His face is depicted with a robust modeling of form and a somewhat muted color palette, a contrast to the vividly hued background. Over his right shoulder, there is a rendition of his own work, “The Yellow Christ,” a notable piece that reflects his Cloisonnist style with its stark outlines and vibrant, non-naturalistic hues. This figure of Christ on the cross, characterized by an intense yellow tone, symbolically oversees the scene, infusing it with a spiritual and somber tone.

Beyond the prominent inclusion of “The Yellow Christ,” the background is divided into areas of strong, pure colors and contains a secondary figure to the right, perhaps referenced from another of his works. This choice of elements serves to situate Gauguin within his artistic context, illustrating his personal journey and the evolution of his iconography. Through its rich symbolism and the fusion of self-representation with his broader body of work, the portrait thus offers a multifaceted look at Gauguin’s identity as an artist and a man deeply engaged with spiritual and existential questioning.

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