Breton peasant women by Paul Gauguin

Breton peasant women by Paul Gauguin

The trip to Brittany, which Paul Gauguin made in 1885, played a huge role in the formation of his own style of the artist. The French province, with its characteristic romanticism, gave the ground for inspiration and the search for new means of expressiveness.

All his life, Gauguin was in search of eternal life, untouched truth, and Brittany, which had not yet caught up with the latest achievements of civilization with its ordinary inhabitants and everyday concerns, was the first step in this quest. Then there will be Martinique and, of course, Tahiti.

Today, everyone is aware of the fact that Gauguin was opposed to the image of any movement or dynamic postures – everything should “breathe” rest and dimensionality. That’s why all the heroes of the master’s works are static and reminiscent of monumental statues. This characteristic trend, which will form the basis of an individual manner, Gauguin began to apply even in his Breton period, and “Breton peasant women” is a vivid example of this.

Female figures in the picture seemed to be frozen in time and space. At the same time, the artist intentionally brings heroines closer to each other, thereby, as it were, compacting the space. Large figures of peasant women are written out in simple and clear lines, Gauguin attached much more importance to color.

The background is noteworthy – although in this role is the landscape, the rural pastoral, Gauguin again demonstrates the importance of color, rather than the real plein-like similarity. To create a background, the wizard uses only pure bright colors, without shadows and halftones, which, according to Gauguin, ruin the picture. As a result, peasants are surrounded by a conditional beautiful world, where everything is harmonious, fresh and colorful.

We can say with confidence that this work is the first, among others, which will have a pronounced decorative character. Admiring mosaic, as an art technique, with its pure colors, simple lines and lack of perspective, Gauguin created exactly such pictures, revealing in them the power of color and line.

Today, the picture “Breton peasant women”, which is exhibited in Munich, and serves as a vivid example of a new look at the power and the possibility of color.

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