Young Girl Dreaming (Study of a Child Asleep) (1881; Paris, France) by Paul Gauguin

Young Girl Dreaming (Study of a Child Asleep) - Paul Gauguin - 1881; Paris, France

Artwork Information

TitleYoung Girl Dreaming (Study of a Child Asleep)
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1881; Paris, France
Art MovementImpressionism

About Young Girl Dreaming (Study of a Child Asleep)

The artwork titled “Young Girl Dreaming (Study of a Child Asleep)” was created by Paul Gauguin in 1881, during his time in Paris, France. This genre painting employs the medium of oil on canvas and can be associated with the Impressionist art movement, a style characterized by a focus on light and its changing qualities, ordinary subject matter, and vivid brushwork.

In the artwork, one observes a serene portrayal of a young girl who appears to be in a deep slumber. Her body is relaxed and casually draped over a daybed with loose bedding. The composition shows the girl in a candid, unposed arrangement, suggesting a candid glimpse into a private moment. The brushwork is relatively loose, indicative of the artist’s impressionistic leanings, with an emphasis on the play of light and color.

Behind the reclining girl, there’s a dreamlike scene that seems to emerge from the wall or perhaps the child’s imagination. It features soft green hues and an assemblage of figures, including what may appear to be animals and fantastical elements, such as a humanoid figure in colorful attire standing to the right of the canvas. These elements might imply the contents of the child’s dreams, blending the boundaries between sleep and wakefulness. The overall effect is one of tranquility and introspection, inviting the viewer to reflect upon the innocence of childhood and the universal experience of dreaming.

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