Dining rest (siesta) by Paul Gauguin

Dining rest (siesta) by Paul Gauguin

The Tahitian period of the biography of the artist Paul Gauguin is invaluable in that it enables an ordinary spectator, such as you or I, to learn about the life of the inhabitants of Polynesia. The instructive digression includes topics of everyday life and fun of islanders, working days and habitation, geography of the population and a variety of flora. This is a wonderful opportunity to see firsthand that Oceania is a place like many on our planet, where life goes on as usual, changing one generation to another.

Here the canvas of Gauguin’s “Midday Rest” on a household theme is offered. It is written in the period of the artist’s brief return to his historical homeland in France before his final move to the islands of Oceania. Despite his stay in Europe, the artist follows the theme of exotic countries. He took as a basis a simple excerpt from the life of the Tahitians, which, frankly, is the secret dream of many Europeans. This is a midday lazy holiday with conversations on everyday topics and a sweet dream.

The image is built on enlarged details. This applies to the first plan, as well as the distant one with a piece of landscape. Characters are well inscribed in a small in size plane. The hero, sitting to the spectator with his back, is notable. An unusual solution of the author.

Interesting national clothes of this stranger. It is very simple from natural fabrics. The headpiece, as we see, is a coquettish straw hat. She does not fit in with the bare feet of a woman. The heroine’s steps are well-groomed and rude. Someone from the characters lies on the cotton sheets – the lucky Tahitian order. Someone is bored on the edge of the terrace, another is reading a book. It is noteworthy that Gauguin displayed exclusively women in the work. And the islanders are permanent heroes of his works. Discrimination? But this is a digression from the topic.

The picture is based on color contrasts. In particular, this concerns the palette. The far background, despite the use of greenery, seems cold, so the yellowness is mixed with greens, turning into a transparent salad. But the scene on the terrace of the house, also written in cold lilac colors, gives a kind of warmth. This effect was obtained thanks to the juicy red clothes of one of their girls and that same hat.

Gauguin did not use the effect of chiaroscuro, for some reason flattening out the individual details. In this, the counter of his author’s letter is a minimum of shadows and glare. In general, the picture is positive, it can be said, indicative for those who “trumpet” in the workplace “from a call to a call.” Unfortunately, we learn about the siesta only from picturesque sources and the media.

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