About this artwork
When Paul Gauguin first exhibited this doll-like figurine at the Sixth Impressionist Exhibition in 1881, critics disparaged what they considered its simplistic coloring and crudely whittled surface. The avant-garde set, however, celebrated its stylized form. Gauguin’s younger colleague Georges Seurat, who may have seen the sculpture at the exhibition and in Gauguin’s studio, presented similarly pared-down, columnar figures in A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884 only a few years later.
Gauguin came to painting through sculpture and preferred to work with wood, an unusual artistic medium at the time in part because of its humble nature. He sought to expand the Impressionists’ narrow definition of fine art to include objects—like this sculpture—that might be dismissed as decoration or craft.
- Paul Gauguin
- Woman Strolling
- Tropical laurel (Terminalia), stained red and black
- 25 cm (9 3/4 in.)
- Through prior bequest of Joseph Winterbotham