Gauguin Paintings

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Gauguin found it constricting to do what other Impressionists did and paint entirely from nature.  Instead, he created a new type of Impressionism (Post-Impressionism) by painting with large, outlined blocks of flat, bright color. 


One thing that separated Paul Gauguin from other artists at the time was that he used heavy outlines in his paintings.  Impressionists blended pieces together to achieve a sense of time in the painting.  Gauguin separated out objects with clear outlines instead. Gauguin painted outlines in watered down Prussian blue. Later the blue outlines would be filled in with opaque colors. The idea was for the dark outline to heighten the intensity of the other colors used.


Something begun (or perhaps, revived from Byzantine art) by the post-impressionists like Gauguin was the use of flat areas of bright color.  Gauguin used colors such as Prussian blue, cobalt blue, emerald green, viridian, cadmium yellow, chrome yellow, red ochre, cobalt violet, and lead or zinc white.

Yet, to say that he never painted from nature would be untrue.  Some of his works exhibit distinct Impressionist styles, even in his Tahitian works.  The color is natural with shadows instead of large blocks of one color and the outline is less noticeable.  In Contes Barbares (Primitive Tales) the flowers in the background are done similar to Monet’s “en plein air” style of painting, despite their outlines.

Read more about Famous Gauguin Paintings:

Vision After the Sermon

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

The Yellow Christ

The Green Christ

Gauguin Self Portraits

The Painter of Sunflowers

Tahitian Women on the Beach

Visit Gauguin

Other Great Masters

Gauguin Prints >

Taperaa Mahana

Piti Tiena

Nafea Faaipoipo

Landscape with Peacocks

A Suburban Street, 1884

"Concentrate your strengths against your competitor's relative weaknesses"

More Gauguin Quotes