Christmas Night by Paul Gauguin

Margaux Jouault
Publié le 20 December 2022
Christmas Night by Paul Gauguin

Painting has been the major expression of Christmas for centuries. Works of art depict the nativity of Christ, scenes from the Bible or families by the fire. But today, let's take a look at an original work…

Museum TV invites you to take a look at Christmas night by Paul Gauguin 1902-1903.

From Brest to Tahiti

We're in the Breton countryside. The snow spreads its white mantle. In the distance, a bell tower reminiscent of our metropolitan countryside. In the background, two women are wearing traditional Breton hairstyles, but something's not quite right… Have you noticed their features? They bear an uncanny resemblance to the Polynesian women Gauguin was so fond of.

If you turn your gaze to the right of the work, you'll notice a statue of two squatting figures in the foreground. As you'd expect, this too is a reference to Pacific island icons.

Yet the painter also drew inspiration from other cultures, as seen in the two oxen in the foreground, reminiscent of ancient Egyptian motifs.

In this Christmas work, Gauguin was able to convey his passion for the Polynesian people. The artist also incorporated references to his travels and knowledge of the world into this symbol of Western civilization. This will be one of his last works.

What do you think of Paul Gauguin's Christmas Night?

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