The King’s Wife (1896; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

The King's Wife - Paul Gauguin - 1896; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleThe King's Wife
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1896; French Polynesia
Dimensions97 x 130 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationPushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia

About The King's Wife

The artwork titled “The King’s Wife” is a creation of Paul Gauguin, completed in the year 1896 during his time in French Polynesia. It is an oil on canvas painting that adheres to the Cloisonnism art movement, known for its bold outlines and vivid colors. The piece measures 97 by 130 cm and falls into the nude painting (nu) genre. It currently resides in the Pushkin Museum located in Moscow, Russia.

“The King’s Wife” vividly captures the exotic and serene atmosphere of French Polynesia. The subject, a native woman, is depicted in a state of repose, lying nude amidst a lush, tropical landscape. Her posture is relaxed and she appears contemplative, with an arm resting over her head while the other holds a fan. The background is abundant with detail and color, indicative of Gauguin’s penchant for capturing the richness of the natural surroundings and the vibrant culture that inspired much of his work during his time in Polynesia.

The painting features strong outlines and flat areas of color, characteristic of the Cloisonnism style which Gauguin and his contemporaries popularized. The color palette is diverse, with the infusion of dark greens, bright oranges, and subtle blues, creating a harmonious and somewhat dream-like tableau. The execution imparts an almost mystical quality to the scene, suggesting the deep cultural significance and almost idyllic existence that Gauguin perceived in the Tahitian way of life.

Gauguin’s exploration of the theme of the nude is not only a display of form but also an inquiry into the cultural and symbolic resonance of the human figure within the context of Tahitian society._slots_Finally, the subject is portrayed with a sense of noble calm, resonating with Gauguin’s romanticized vision of the Pacific islanders as noble savages, living in harmony with nature, far from the moral and social complexities of European life.

Other Artwork from Paul Gauguin

More Cloisonnism Artwork

Scroll to Top