Wrapped in a long, heavy coat and facing directly towards us, Gauguin approaches the far side of a wooden gate. His way forward remains barred. The peasant woman, too, seems to make no move to let him pass. In the bottom right-hand corner we read the greeting “Bonjour M. Gauguin”, a title with which the artist alludes to a revolutionary Gustave Courbet painting of 1854. Gauguin, who in the year this
picture was executed had left Paris and moved to the remote fishing village of Pont-Aven, portrays himself here as a traveler who never truly arrives. The solitary wanderer remains excluded. Only his dog accompanies him on his journey through the autumnal countryside. The archaic primitiveness of Brittany was still too close to civilization for the artist, however, and so two years later he left his native
France to set off alone for the South Seas.
Oil on canvas, 92,5 x 74 cm, Národní galerie, Prag; Foto: © Narodni galerie v Praze, Prag
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