Painting When is the wedding? Gauguin’s fields

Paul Gauguin. Painting When the wedding, 1892
Paul Gauguin. Painting When the wedding, 1892

Painting “When is the wedding?” Gauguin’s fields – bright colors of an exotic country

When is the wedding? is a painting by Paul Gauguin in 1892. In the center of the composition, against the background of a blue shadow from a tree, blue-gray mountains and a yellow sky, two Tahitian girls are depicted. Facing the viewer, they look in different directions, as if personifying the confrontation between the two cultures of the East and West. The figure of one of them is dynamic and is located on the green grass of the foreground.

Leaning on her hand, the girl leaned forward, it seems that she is about to get up and leave the stage. Dressed in flowing clothes, consonant with the surrounding color, she embodies the spirit of freedom. A flower in her hair, according to local customs, shows that the young beauty is looking for a man and is ready to indulge in romantic passion.

The image of the second girl with a straight posture and prim manners symbolizes traditional European values. A conservative light pink dress with a white collar sharply discords with the riot of colors of the oriental landscape. The fingers are folded in the likeness of a Buddhist mudra. And the look is filled with condescension and disapproval. An attentive viewer notices that it is her appearance that is in the optical center of the work.

Author: Paul Gauguin (1848-1903).
Year of writing: 1892
Size: 105 x 75.5 cm.
Style: Cloisonism.
Genre: Household scene.
Technique: Oil painting.
Material: Canvas.
Location: National Museum of Qatar, Doha.

Paul Gauguin is a famous French painter of the 19th century.

His work was characterized by bold experiments with color and a synthetic style. And creativity had a great influence on the development of avant-garde art and artists of the next century, such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and Henri Matisse. Paul Gauguin began painting in adulthood, having worked as a sailor and stockbroker. He was excited by memories from early childhood, filled with bright colors of oriental life.

Tired of gray rainy everyday life, in 1891 the 43-year-old artist went in search of the exotic, leaving his wife and five children at home. After a few months in Tahiti, he, along with many other works, presented the world with the painting “When to get married?”.

Despite the fact that the Polynesian reality did not meet Gauguin’s expectations of a paradise island, the artist managed to embody his ideas about the primitive life of the indigenous people in the work. With a missionary dress, the master emphasized the penetration of European civilization into Tahiti.

The painting “When the wedding” by Paul Gauguin was appreciated by contemporaries only three years after the death of the artist at a retrospective exhibition of his works. Having been in the private collection of the Swiss Stehlin family for several decades, in 2015 it passed to the museum department of Qatar and became the most expensive work of art in the world at that time. The deal amounted to a record $300 million.

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