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

Still-Life with Portrait of Laval

Oil on canvas, 46 x 38 cm
Museum of Art, Indianapolis

Gauguin met Charles Laval (1862-1894) at Pont-Aven in the summer of 1886 and the younger artist became his pupil. The two were to journey to Panama and Martinique together the following year. Gauguin's role as mentor is alluded to in the way in which Laval gazes fixedly at the ceramic pot which was made by Gauguin in the winter of 1886-87, when he worked in Paris with the ceramicist Chaplet.

The still-life with its piled up fruits, treated with tight diagonal brushstrokes and laid out on a white cloth, is reminiscent of Cézanne's painting Still-Life with Compotier which Gauguin owned at this date. At the same time, the oddly truncated head in the foreground is a homage to Degas, who had exhibited with Gauguin at the final Impressionist exhibition that year.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.