Tahitian woman and boy (1899; Punaauia, French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Tahitian woman and boy - Paul Gauguin - 1899; Punaauia, French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleTahitian woman and boy
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1899; Punaauia, French Polynesia
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationNorton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA, US

About Tahitian woman and boy

The artwork “Tahitian woman and boy” by artist Paul Gauguin was created in 1899 in Punaauia, French Polynesia. Its medium consists of oil on canvas, and it is a notable example of the Cloisonnism art movement. This portrait genre painting is currently housed in the Norton Simon Museum, located in Pasadena, California, United States.

The artwork depicts a seated Tahitian woman and a standing boy, presumably of a similar cultural background. The woman is portrayed with a calm, serene expression, gazing directly at the viewer. Her attire is notable for its bright pink hue and is adorned with intricate floral patterns, which stand out against the muted backdrop. A white flower is tucked behind her ear, adding a touch of delicacy to her appearance. Beside her, the boy, whose gaze seems to be directed slightly away from the viewer, stands with subdued facial features and a neutral expression. His clothing is less vivid, rendered in earthy and neutral tones.

The background of the painting utilizes a vibrant green, suggesting lush foliage or perhaps a simplified representation of the natural environment. Gauguin’s style, characterized by bold outlines and flat areas of color, is evident throughout the composition. These elements come together to create a vivid yet harmonious scene, rich with the artist’s interpretations of the subjects’ cultural identity and surroundings.

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