Vaugirard church (1879; France) by Paul Gauguin

Vaugirard church - Paul Gauguin - 1879; France

Artwork Information

TitleVaugirard church
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1879; France
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationGroninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands

About Vaugirard church

The artwork titled “Vaugirard church” is an oil on canvas painting created by Paul Gauguin in 1879 in France. This piece is an exemplification of the Impressionist movement, which Gauguin was associated with early in his career. As a genre, it can be classified as a cityscape, depicting an urban scene with an architectural subject. The artwork is part of the collection of the Groninger Museum located in Groningen, Netherlands.

The artwork portrays the view of a church, presumably located in the Vaugirard area of Paris. The church’s steeple reaches towards the sky, dominating the composition and lending it a vertical thrust. The color palette appears muted, with an interplay of earthy tones and hints of blue which could be representative of the sky, although the Impressionist technique might also indicate different times of day or particular atmospheric conditions. The brushwork is loose and spontaneous, in keeping with Impressionist standards, which aimed to capture fleeting moments and the effects of light.

In the foreground, one can see what appears to be a shadowed courtyard or street, showcasing a combination of naturalistic and perhaps somewhat stylized textures. The thoughtful placement of light and shadow creates a sensation of depth, inviting the viewer’s eye to wander into the scene and explore the environment around the church. It is an intimate glimpse of a city space, offering insight into the urban landscape of the time.

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