The market gardens of Vaugirard (1879; France) by Paul Gauguin

The market gardens of Vaugirard - Paul Gauguin - 1879; France

Artwork Information

TitleThe market gardens of Vaugirard
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1879; France
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationSmith College Museum of Art (SCMA), Northampton, MA, US

About The market gardens of Vaugirard

“The Market Gardens of Vaugirard,” a landscape painting by Paul Gauguin, was executed in 1879, reflecting the Impressionist movement of that era. Crafted using oil on canvas, this artwork symbolizes Gauguin’s engagement with the Impressionist movement before he developed his distinct Post-Impressionist style. Housed at the Smith College Museum of Art (SCMA) in Northampton, Massachusetts, United States, the artwork encapsulates the essence of the suburban landscape through deft representation of light and color.

In the artwork, the painter has depicted a scenic suburban vista, rich with verdant greenery and a variety of structures that dot the horizon. At the forefront, the rich foliage of trees and a pathway leading towards the back draw the viewer’s eye into the heart of the scene. The detailed garden plots are rendered with swift brush strokes, typical of the Impressionism movement, that suggest the teeming life within without overemphasizing intricate detail.

Midground, the artwork showcases a patchwork of market garden plots, which appear productive and are likely tended by the inhabitants of the surrounding buildings. The residences and structures in the scene are portrayed in relatively muted tones, with the reds of the rooftops providing a warm contrast to the cool greens and blues.

Gauguin’s skill in capturing the atmosphere is evident in the sky, where various shades of blue and white convey shifting weather patterns and an airy openness, which is characteristic of the Impressionist penchant for depicting natural light and its effects on the landscape. Overall, the painting emanates a calm, everyday sensibility of rural life on the periphery of urban development, offering viewers a glimpse into the late 19th-century French countryside.

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