Paul Gauguin 1848 – 1903

The Yellow Christ

oil on canvas (91 × 73 cm) — 1889 Museum Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (NY)

This work is linked to John 19:25

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Gauguin situated the well-known scene with three women under the cross in a landscape typical for Brittany. Many of his predecessors did the same, and that also goes for the contemporary dress of the women.

But the technique Gauguin used is innovative. The painting seems to exist out of compartments with a single colour, heavily outlined. The technique is called cloissonism, after a French word for compartments.

The autumn colours of the landscape return in the cross and in the crucified man.

Gauguin was inspired by the carved and painted crucifix he had seen in the chapel of Trémalo, outside Pont-Aven where he lived.

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