Women and white horse (1903; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Women and white horse - Paul Gauguin - 1903; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleWomen and white horse
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1903; French Polynesia
Dimensions73.3 x 91.7 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationMuseum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, MA, US

About Women and white horse

“Women and white horse,” created by Paul Gauguin in 1903 during his time in French Polynesia, is a watercolor on paper that embodies the Post-Impressionist movement. The artwork, measuring 73.3 by 91.7 centimeters, is a genre painting that is a part of the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

The artwork presents an idyllic scene characterized by a vibrant use of color and a dreamlike quality that Gauguin is known for. It features a group of women and a white horse, set against an exotic backdrop that reflects the artist’s fascination with the tropics. One woman sits astride the horse, dominating the central portion of the composition, while others appear engaged in various activities around her. The lush landscape includes an array of flora, with different textures and hues that suggest the richness of the environment.

Foreground elements draw immediate attention, with figures rendered in a simplified form that eschews fine detail in favor of bold outlines and flat planes of color, typical of the Post-Impressionist style. The background contains a cross on a hill, which may symbolize Gauguin’s contemplation of spirituality, a recurrent theme in his work. This tableau, with its evocative use of color and symbolic content, invites reflection on both the cultural context and the inner life of its subjects.

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