Two tahitian women (1899; Punaauia, French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Two tahitian women - Paul Gauguin - 1899; Punaauia, French Polynesia

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Artwork Information

TitleTwo tahitian women
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1899; Punaauia, French Polynesia
Dimensions94 x 72.4 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art (Met), New York City, NY, US

About Two tahitian women

The artwork entitled “Two Tahitian Women” was created by the artist Paul Gauguin in 1899, during his time in Punaauia, French Polynesia. This oil on canvas painting measures 94 x 72.4 cm and is executed in the Cloisonnism style, a branch of post-Impressionism noted for bold contours and vivid colors. It is a portrait genre painting and is presently housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, NY, United States.

The artwork presents a candid portrayal of two women from Tahiti. The figure in the foreground is depicted with a neutral expression, directly facing the viewer, while the second figure is positioned slightly behind and to the side. She has a more averted gaze and is adorned with a white garment draped over one shoulder, holding a cluster of delicate flowers. The bold use of color, characteristic of Gauguin and Cloisonnism, is apparent in the rich hues of blue and green that dominate the composition, contrasting with the warmer tones of the women’s skin and the fruit one of them holds on a platter. There is a stark partitioning of forms through thick outlines that captures the essence of the sitters within a tropical ambiance. The ethereal appearance of the foliage in the background adds depth and texture to the scene. Overall, the painting conveys a serene and introspective atmosphere, inviting contemplation of the cultural and personal identity of the subjects portrayed.

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