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

The Seaweed Harvesters

Oil on canvas, 88 x 123 cm
Museum Folkwang, Essen

The painting, which was produced at Le Pouldu in December 1889, is a blend of fidelity to nature (he paints the sand pink, as he perceives it, rather than the yellow one would expect it to be) and of careful planning, with preparatory studies. At the same time, he recognized that he was still working within certain well-established conventional norms - the distortion of the limbs and the exaggeration of the hands to suggest the tedium of physical labour, something that he could have observed in the representations of peasant life in the work of Millet or Van Gogh.

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