Gauguin, (Eugène-Henri-) Paul

Vision After the Sermon, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

1888; National Gallery of Scotland; (thanks to Mark Harden)

As its name suggests, Gauguin's work was concerned with inner rather than external truth. He combined stylized images of Breton figures in a shallow pictorial space with a 'vision' in the top right corner. Thus the 'real' and imagined worlds depicted, are separated by the strong, diagonal of the tree, which was inspired by Japanese prints. Like the Impressionists, Gauguin studied Japanese prints and even adopted their use of bold, flat areas of solid color. The figures are distributed unconventionally, cut off and framing the canvas edge at the left and in the foreground. No identifiable source of light is used, a device which looks forward to developments in Fauvism.

© 4 Sep 1995, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info

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