The house of singing (1892; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

The house of singing - Paul Gauguin - 1892; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleThe house of singing
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1892; French Polynesia
Dimensions51 x 90 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The house of singing

“The House of Singing,” crafted by the esteemed artist Paul Gauguin in 1892 during his time in French Polynesia, is an oil on canvas work belonging to the genre of genre painting. This post-impressionist piece, measuring 51 by 90 centimeters, is presently held in a private collection. The artwork reflects Gauguin’s post-impressionistic endeavor to capture the essence of the scene through color and form more than precise representation.

The artwork immerses the viewer in a rich, atmospheric scene bustling with the cultural life of French Polynesia. Gauguin uses a vivid and expressive color palette to depict a communal gathering, possibly involving song or a ritual, as suggested by the title. The warmth of the interior space radiates with golden hues, highlighting the artist’s interest in the effects of artificial light. There is a sense of immediacy and intimacy in the way the figures are portrayed; some are seen from the back, while others engage in conversation or lie down, hinting at a casual social setting.

Diverse garments and postures among the figures add variety and narrative interest, inviting speculation about the individual stories and the collective event taking place. The foreground is dominated by a figure in a light-colored garment, whose presence seems contemplative as opposed to the more dynamic congregation. Gauguin’s style is characterized by bold outlines and flat areas of color, adhering to post-impressionist aesthetics that favor emotive impact over naturalism. The brushstrokes and use of color create a rhythmic quality that resonates with the implied theme of singing, and reflect Gauguin’s experimental approach to art that would influence future avant-garde movements.

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