Tahitian pastorale (1898; Punaauia, French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Tahitian pastorale - Paul Gauguin - 1898; Punaauia, French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleTahitian pastorale
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1898; Punaauia, French Polynesia
Art MovementPost-Impressionism

About Tahitian pastorale

The artwork “Tahitian Pastorale” by Paul Gauguin was created in the year 1898, during his time in Punaauia, French Polynesia. Gauguin, a post-Impressionist artist, utilized oil on canvas to manifest his vision. The genre of this piece is classified as genre painting, which typically depicts scenes from everyday life.

“Tahitian Pastorale” showcases Gauguin’s distinct post-Impressionist style, characterized by bold colors, strong forms, and a lack of concern for traditional perspective. This artwork presents a serene outdoor scene set in Tahiti, where Gauguin spent considerable time, deeply influenced by the aesthetic and culture. It features two Tahitian women: one standing, draped in a white garment leaning casually against a dark tree trunk, and the other seated, gazing downwards, possibly at the ground or an object in her hands. A third figure, a dog, is positioned lying on the grass, reinforcing the pastoral mood.

The background contains vibrant and expressive elements—patches of bold red, yellow, and green, each demarcating different segments of the landscape. With a simplification of forms and use of pure color devoid of gradation, the painting evokes a sense of a dreamlike, idyllic environment. Flowers bloom on the branches overhead, and the flat application of color on the water and land contributes to the stylized, decorative feel characteristic of Gauguin’s work during this period.

Gauguin’s art often explores themes of exoticism and primitivism, and this work is no exception. The subject matter along with the title suggests a sense of harmony with nature and an idealized portrayal of Tahitian life, reflecting Gauguin’s romanticized vision of the island as an untouched paradise, free from the complications of industrialized society.

Other Artwork from Paul Gauguin

More Post-Impressionism Artwork

Scroll to Top