Young Man with a Flower Behind his Ear (1891; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Young Man with a Flower Behind his Ear - Paul Gauguin - 1891; French Polynesia

Artwork Information

TitleYoung Man with a Flower Behind his Ear
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1891; French Polynesia
Dimensions45.7 x 33.3 cm
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Young Man with a Flower Behind his Ear

The artwork titled “Young Man with a Flower Behind his Ear” was created by artist Paul Gauguin in 1891 while he was in French Polynesia. It is an oil on canvas painting and is an example of the Cloisonnism style, which is known for bold outlines and flat areas of color. The dimensions of this portrait are 45.7 by 33.3 centimeters. It is currently held in a private collection.

Upon observation, the artwork reveals the profile of a young man gazing to the left with a contemplative expression. His complexion is rendered in warm tones that contrast with the cooler hues of the background. Characteristic of the Cloisonnism approach, the painting features distinct outlines and areas of flat color, without much gradation or detail in the shading. The man wears a flower behind his right ear—a detail adding a touch of naturalism and grace to the composition. His attire appears simple and loosely fits, marked with a prominent dark bow tied at the neck. The artwork stands as testimony to Gauguin’s engagement with and interpretation of the people and culture he encountered during his time in French Polynesia, capturing both the physical likeness and an intimation of the inner life of the young man portrayed.

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