Composition with Horse Head
Department of Art after 1800
|Medium, technique||oil on canvas|
60.5 x 81 cm
|Collection||Department of Art after 1800|
|On view||This artwork is not on display|
This landscape was painted when Paul Gauguin was a beginner, almost a self-taught “Sunday painter”. He ceased working as a stockbroker a few years later in order to finally commit himself to painting.
This early work already shows his withdrawal from modern urban life, which characterised his later œuvre and led to his escape to distant and exotic lands. Nothing suggests that the painting depicts Vaugirard in close vicinity to Paris: the garden under snow is quiet and calm. The impressionist brushwork shows the strong influence of Pissarro, who took the young artist under his wings in 1874; the composition of the landscape appearing through a row of trees can also be connected to the master. Snow was a popular theme for impressionists: it gave opportunity to study white tones and fine colour transitions of purplish and bluish shades. Later Gauguin broke with Pissarro and impressionism, and gradually developed his characteristic synthesising, symbolist approach.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.