She goes down to the fresh water (Haere Pape) (1892; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

She goes down to the fresh water (Haere Pape) - Paul Gauguin - 1892; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleShe goes down to the fresh water (Haere Pape)
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1892; French Polynesia
Dimensions91.2 x 66.4 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationBarnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, US

About She goes down to the fresh water (Haere Pape)

The artwork titled “She goes down to the fresh water (Haere Pape)” was crafted by Paul Gauguin in 1892 during his time in French Polynesia. Executed in oil on canvas, the piece measures 91.2 x 66.4 cm and is a quintessential example of the Cloisonnism art movement, characterized by bold outlines and flat areas of color without gradation. The genre painting is currently housed at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

The artwork depicts a Polynesian woman standing beside a body of water with foliage and trees in the background under a sky filled with an array of clouds. The woman is wearing a traditional wraparound garment with floral patterns, a clear depiction of the exotic attire of the region. Her posture and gaze as she looks down suggest a moment of contemplation or pause. The scene has a still quality to it, yet it is imbued with vibrant, contrasting colors that are typical of Gauguin’s style, such as the rich blues of the water and the striking oranges and reds of the land. The clear-lined drawing and bright color palette of Cloisonnism create a strong visual separation between the elements of the composition, reflecting Gauguin’s departure from the naturalism of European painting in favor of a more synthesized and stylized aesthetic inspired by his experiences in the South Pacific.

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