The Meal (The Bananas) (1891; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

The Meal (The Bananas) - Paul Gauguin - 1891; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleThe Meal (The Bananas)
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1891; French Polynesia
Dimensions73 x 92 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationMusée d'Orsay, Paris, France

About The Meal (The Bananas)

“The Meal (The Bananas),” an oil on canvas artwork by Paul Gauguin, dates back to 1891 when the artist was in French Polynesia. As part of the Post-Impressionism art movement, Gauguin’s work exudes a certain avant-garde character noted for its vivid color, bold experimentation, and departure from the naturalism of Impressionism. The artwork’s dimensions are 73 x 92 cm, and it falls under the genre painting category, which typically depicts scenes of everyday life. This particular piece resides in the prestigious Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France.

The artwork captures an intimate view of a domestic scene, likely set in French Polynesia, highlighted by Gauguin’s signature rich and muted color palette. It features three figures seated around a cloth-draped table laden with an assortment of foods that emphasize the tropical setting, such as bananas and citrus fruits. The individuals have a serene, reflective quality to their expressions, indicative of Gauguin’s stylized approach to human portraiture. The flat planes of color and bold outlines give the composition a simplified yet harmonious balance, and the lack of perspective lends a two-dimensional, almost abstract quality to the scene. There is a certain stillness and poignancy to the depicted moment, reflecting Gauguin’s interest in the symbolic and the exotic, as he sought to capture the essence and spirituality of the people and landscapes he encountered far from the urban centers of Europe.

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