The Three Huts (c.1891; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

The Three Huts - Paul Gauguin - c.1891; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleThe Three Huts
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Datec.1891; French Polynesia
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Three Huts

“The Three Huts” is an artwork by Paul Gauguin created circa 1891 during his time in French Polynesia. The painting is executed in oil on canvas and is an exemplification of the Cloisonnism style, a movement within Post-Impressionism characterized by bold and flat forms separated by dark contours. The genre of the piece is landscape, and currently, the painting is held in a private collection.

The artwork depicts a tranquil Polynesian landscape featuring three prominent huts with striking red roofs that dominate the foreground. The huts are presumably made of natural materials, as suggested by their organic textures and integration into the landscape. To the right, under the shade of tall trees, a small group of figures is gathered, clothed in traditional attire, suggesting a scene of social interaction or a communal gathering.

The composition is staged with the sensibility of a stage set, with each element – the huts, the people, and the surrounding flora – carefully positioned to draw the viewer’s eye around the canvas. A black horse is grazing in the bottom right corner, providing a contrast to the verdant greenery that blankets the earth. The vegetation is rendered in assertive strokes, hinting at the vitality of the tropical environment.

The tranquil scenery is framed by rolling hills in the background, depicted in a palette of greens, yellows, and blues, showcasing Gauguin’s use of color to create depth and atmosphere in the absence of traditional perspective. The sky is minimal and suffused with light, focusing attention on the earthy activities and landscape. The orange and yellow tones in the trees at the crest of the hill echo the roofs of the huts, integrating the earth and sky in a harmonious palette.

Overall, “The Three Huts” conveys an idealized, serene vision of life in French Polynesia, and the artist’s unique approach to color and form contributes to the painting’s enduring allure and representation of the Post-Impressionist movement’s departure from naturalism.

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