Still Life with Three Puppies (1888) by Paul Gauguin

Still Life with Three Puppies - Paul Gauguin - 1888

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life with Three Puppies
ArtistPaul Gauguin
MediumOil on Panel
Dimensions92.8 x 61.6 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US
Location Created France

About Still Life with Three Puppies

“Still Life with Three Puppies” is an artwork created by Paul Gauguin in 1888, exemplifying his Post-Impressionist style. This oil on panel piece measures 92.8 by 61.6 cm and currently resides at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, NY, US. The painting was completed in France and falls within the genres of still life and animal painting.

The artwork exhibits a playful and heartwarming scene featuring three puppies gathered around a bowl. The central theme of the painting is the vibrant depiction of the animals, who are portrayed in various postures, engaging with both the bowl and each other, emphasizing a sense of liveliness and curiosity. Above them float three symmetrically positioned stools, and below, a discernable grouping of fruit can be seen, likely apples and pears, arranged carefully in two different receptacles – a bowl and a draped cloth, which add a traditional still life element to the composition. The bold use of color and the somewhat abstract representation of shapes reflect Gauguin’s avant-garde approach to painting, moving away from the realistic portrayals of the earlier Impressionists. The visible brushstrokes and the juxtaposition of the puppies with the inanimate objects create a dynamic interplay between life and stillness. Despite the painting’s simple subject matter, Gauguin’s treatment of the scene encapsulates the essence of Post-Impressionism, characterized by emotional depth, symbolism, and a departure from naturalistic depiction.

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