Paul Gauguin painted The Vision After The Sermon in 1888 while living in Pont-Aven, Brittany in northwest France. The painting depicts a group of Breton women leaving a church after hearing a sermon, while above them, Jacob is wrestling with an angel in a vision. The contrast between the intense black dresses of the women and the luminous yellow-white hats they wear is noteworthy, and the style in which it is painted is significant as it is a departure from Impressionism’s subject matter of landscapes and cities.
Gauguin, in an 1888 letter to Vincent van Gogh, described the painting in detail, revealing his experimentation with bold coloring, which subsequently led to the Synthetist style of modern art. He coined the term “Synthetism” to describe his style during this period. The painting, Vision After The Sermon, represents a significant departure from Impressionism, as Gauguin’s expression of meaning in his paintings paved the way to Primitivism. Today, Vision After The Sermon is housed in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.
Overall, The Vision After The Sermon is a remarkable painting that shows Gauguin’s exceptional skill in expressing his ideas in a unique and unconventional style. The painting depicts the significance of religious beliefs and the powerful symbolism behind them at a time when they could still captivate the minds of artists. The intense emotions and the bold contrast of colors used in the painting add a level of dynamism, making it stand out from other works in the period.