Woman Holding a Fruit (1893; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Woman Holding a Fruit - Paul Gauguin - 1893; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Holding a Fruit
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1893; French Polynesia
Dimensions92.5 x 73.5 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Woman Holding a Fruit

The artwork titled “Woman Holding a Fruit” by Paul Gauguin was created in 1893 during the artist’s time in French Polynesia. It is an oil on canvas painting measuring 92.5 by 73.5 centimeters. This work is classified as a genre painting and is part of the Post-Impressionism art movement. Currently, the artwork is housed at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The artwork depicts a standing Polynesian woman holding a large fruit with her left hand, her gaze is directed towards the viewer, imparting a strong and engaging presence. Her upper body is bare, while her lower body is adorned with a vibrant red skirt with yellow floral patterns that accentuate the tropical setting. To her left, three other figures are seen engaging in daily activities, providing context and cultural depth to the scene. These figures are rendered with less detail, drawing the viewer’s attention back to the central woman. In the background, we see lush greenery and a glimpse of a traditional dwelling, reinforcing the exotic locale. The use of bold colors, stark contrasts, and strong outlines are characteristic of Gauguin’s style during this period and contribute to the vividness of the composition. The painting is indicative of Gauguin’s fascination with the people, culture, and landscapes of French Polynesia, themes that are prevalent throughout much of his later work.

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