Tahitian idyll (1901; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Tahitian idyll - Paul Gauguin - 1901; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleTahitian idyll
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1901; French Polynesia
Dimensions74.5 x 94.5 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Tahitian idyll

“Tahitian Idyll” is an artwork by Paul Gauguin, created in 1901 during the artist’s time in French Polynesia. The medium of this work is oil on canvas, measuring 74.5 by 94.5 centimeters. It belongs to the Cloisonnism movement, which is known for its bold separation of colors reminiscent of stained glass. This landscape genre painting is part of a private collection, and its scene conveys the tranquil and exotic essence of the Tahitian environment which captivated Gauguin.

The artwork portrays an idyllic scene with vivid and saturated colors, a signature aspect of Gauguin’s style. In the foreground, two figures, likely Tahitian locals, walk along a winding red path that dominates the composition. The striking use of color to outline shapes and fill spaces is indicative of the Cloisonnism technique. The lush greenery and trees provide a stark contrast against the red soil, creating a sense of depth and tropical richness.

In the background, traditional thatched-roof dwellings are nestled among the vegetation, again emphasizing the rustic and peaceful way of life. A glimpse of the sea with a sailing ship anchors the scene in its island setting, suggesting the presence of outside influences or contact with the wider world, yet the overall atmosphere remains one of serene isolation and simplicity. Gauguin’s choice of flat planes of color and decorative lines lends the artwork a dreamlike quality, inviting viewers to experience the enchantment of the Tahitian landscape through his eyes.

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