(b. 1848, Paris, d. 1903, Atuona, Hiva Oa, French Polynesia)

Interior of the Artist's Home, Rue Carcel

Oil on canvas, 130 x 162 cm
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo

In 1881, at the time of painting this work, Gauguin still had a successful career in stockbroking. The affluent lifestyle that this gave the family, including his wife Mette (probably the woman seated at the upright piano) and their four children is made clear in this painting. The solid bourgeois respectability is reflected in the cosy interior and the domestic comforts made evident in the foreground by the prominent still-life and the small work basket on the table.

This painting was included in the seventh Impressionist exhibition of 1882, where Gauguin exhibited 13 works, and which he helped to organize. In treatment, however, the painting is quite different from typical Impressionist works of this period. It is produced on a much larger scale than Gauguin normally used at this time, quite different from the smaller, more intimate works of his Impressionist friends who favoured portable canvases for working in the open air. The rather dark tonality was something that was remarked upon by several critics, who found it heavy in comparison with typical Impressionist paintings. It was perhaps because of its rather orthodox treatment and the image of family life that it proclaims that made Mette Gauguin keep the painting in her personal collection until 1917.

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