Women bathing (Dieppe) (1885; Dieppe-sous-douaumont, France) by Paul Gauguin

Women bathing (Dieppe) - Paul Gauguin - 1885; Dieppe-sous-douaumont, France

Artwork Information

TitleWomen bathing (Dieppe)
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1885; Dieppe-sous-douaumont, France
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationNational Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Japan

About Women bathing (Dieppe)

The artwork titled “Women Bathing (Dieppe)” was created by the artist Paul Gauguin in 1885, near Dieppe-sous-Douaumont, France. This piece is executed in oil on canvas and exemplifies the Impressionist movement, a style characterized by small, thin brush strokes and an emphasis on the accurate portrayal of light. It falls under the genre painting category, depicting scenes of everyday life. The artwork finds its home in the National Museum of Western Art, located in Tokyo, Japan.

In this particular work, Gauguin captures a group of women engaged in the act of bathing. The composition illustrates four women prominently positioned in the foreground, standing in the shallow waters. Three of them appear interconnected, holding hands in a linear formation facing the viewer, while the fourth is slightly turned, gesturing toward the sandy beach. Their attire is suggestive of the period, with full-length dark dresses appropriate for modest seaside bathing of the era.

The background is a wide expanse of beach, leading up to a green hillside under a sky which may hint at the approach of inclement weather, giving a sense of immediacy to the gathering storm. In the distance, the masts of ships further populate the seascape, adding depth and context to the marine setting. The brushwork is loose and expressive, indicative of the Impressionist touch, blending colors and light to give a sense of movement and vitality to the sea and the skies. Gauguin’s palette choices convey the cool, overcast day, maintaining a somber atmosphere, where the contrast between the subjects and their surroundings is visually explored through both color and form.

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