The Swineherd, Brittany (1888) by Paul Gauguin

The Swineherd, Brittany - Paul Gauguin - 1888

Artwork Information

TitleThe Swineherd, Brittany
ArtistPaul Gauguin
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions29 x 36 1/2 in. (74 x 93 cm)
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationLos Angeles County Museum of Art
Location Created Pont-aven, France

About The Swineherd, Brittany

“The Swineherd, Brittany” is a notable work by the artist Paul Gauguin, created in 1888. This oil on canvas exemplifies the Post-Impressionist movement in art and measures 29 by 36 1/2 inches (74 by 93 centimeters). Its genre is landscape and it currently resides within the eminent Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Gauguin crafted this piece in Pont-Aven, France, imbuing it with the region’s bucolic charm and the rustic spirit of the era.

The artwork vividly portrays a serene pastoral scene in the region of Brittany. A central figure, presumably the swineherd, stands contemplatively in the field, his attention unspecified but seemingly absorbed in thought. This character is flanked by a trio of swine, rendered in golden tones that capture the light and air of the bucolic setting. The vibrant contrast of colors and the characteristic Post-Impressionist stylization of the landscape—marked by bold, flattened forms and a rich, harmonious palette—imbue the scene with both tranquility and a hint of underlying narrative tension. In the background, the gentle slope of a hill rises, punctuated by the architectural forms of a sparse settlement and a solitary church spire that breaks the horizon line, establishing a visual anchor in the composition. The juxtaposition of natural and human elements, along with Gauguin’s unique stylistic approaches, contributes to the viewer’s contemplation of a way of life intimately connected to the land and the rhythms of nature.

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