Tahitian village (1892; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Tahitian village - Paul Gauguin - 1892; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleTahitian village
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1892; French Polynesia
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationNy Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark

About Tahitian village

The artwork titled “Tahitian Village” was created by the celebrated artist Paul Gauguin in the year 1892 during his time in French Polynesia. The medium utilized for this creation is oil on canvas, and it embodies the characteristics of the Cloisonnism art movement, which is reflected in the bold outlines and flat areas of color. Categorized primarily under the landscape genre, this particular piece of Gauguin’s oeuvre is housed in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The artwork presents a serene yet vibrant scene of a Tahitian village. A lush greenery of trees dominates the upper half of the canvas, with their trunks and branches interspersed with dapples of light, suggesting a canopy that filters sunshine. Beneath this verdant umbrella, one may observe the presence of several Tahitian figures. These figures are depicted in various activities, some seated, while others stand or walk across the landscape, possibly engaged in daily village life. The attire and posture of the figures hint at a quiet and leisurely pace. The forms are simplified with thick contours, which is a hallmark of Cloisonnism, and rich, earthy tones bring warmth to the scene, contrasted with the cool shades in the foliage.

Structures, presumably huts or dwellings, peek through the spaces between the trees, rendered with Gauguin’s characteristic use of color and shape rather than detailed architectural representation. The foreground is filled with fields of gold and green, suggesting a lush and fertile ground, and there is an absence of the sky, implying the viewer’s complete immersion into the village environs. Overall, the artwork exudes a sense of tranquility and harmony with nature, inviting contemplation not only about the visual beauty but also about the lifestyle and culture of the Tahitian people as perceived by Gauguin.

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