This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Gauguin Where Do We Come From What Are We Where Are We Going

2274 words - 9 pages

Gauguin Where Do We Come From What Are We Where Are We Going

-Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
-Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?
-1897
-Oil on Canvas, 5 feet by 12 feet
-Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?, is the self-acclaimed masterpiece of Paul Gauguins’ career. It represents the culmination of his ideas and beliefs that he acquired throughout his life as a painter. Many visual characteristics of the painting, such as the color, line, and light are unrealistic in nature, but serve to emphasize the tropical surroundings in which Gauguin loved to paint. Although the organization of the characters in this lush jungle clearing seem random, Gauguin intended this work to be “read” from right to left as if it was a story book describing the evolution of man.

The use of unique color in Where do we come from? is the most visible attribute of the painting. The background is comprised of intersecting layers of shades of blue and green, which act as a backdrop for the more intense colors in the foreground. The ground plane is made up of a mixture of dirt and rock, which disappears in an area of muddled color. Due to the drastic change in color between the surroundings and the characters, it is as if they have been superimposed onto the painting. Each character is unique in composition, but similar in tone. Gauguin uses an unrealistic mix of peach and earthy brown to represent skin. In some places an orange glow reflects off of the bodies, which is heavily accentuated on the central figure. On other figures, the skin tone is dull and almost blends into the ground color. Dark brown hair color is standard throughout the entire work as well as the use of white loin clothes and robes.
These color schemes hold true for most of the painting, but some exceptions are notable. At each end of the work the outermost character is considerably darker in skin tone than the others. It seems as if they are being shunned from the rest of the crowd because of their body language. The woman on the far right has her back to us as if she is trying to see what the others are doing, and the woman on the far left is holding her head in her hands as if she is upset about something. Another exception to the common coloring themes is the woman to the right of the idol in the distance. Unlike all of the other characters, who are wearing minimal white clothing, she is wearing a black garment that covers most of her body. The idol also represents a change in color tones from the rest of the painting. It has been painted in a light blue, similar to the coloring of background elements. According to Gauguin, this figure represents “the beyond,” which is emphasized by its close relationship in color to nature. (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Although the use of line and light is not as defined as the color scheme, they still play an important role in the overall organization of the painting. Gauguin uses...

Find Another Essay On Gauguin Where Do We Come From What Are We Where Are We Going

We Are What We Carry Essay

933 words - 4 pages himself with amnesty is what he seeks, and ultimately he does not. Not only does Perry seek forgiveness from his father, but also from others. Willie Jay describes Perry’s outlook on life, "Nothing is more usual than to feel that others have shared in our failures, just as it is an ordinary reaction to forget those who have shared in our achievements." (144). Perry searches for forgiveness, but also blames his lingering past for his actions. Willie

Nuclear Nightmares: Where Do We Go From Here?

1003 words - 4 pages Today, there are nearly 272 million people living in America, therefore making it the third most populated country in the World. As technology grows and strives the world become increasingly strong, and decreasingly vulnerable. Since the invention of the atomic bomb in 1939, the world has come to a conclusion in the eyes of Ben Franklin as, "The way to be safe is never to be secure." We have created our future and our doom. The United States was

Our Education Gap: Where We Are Losing Our Children

1730 words - 7 pages Masters PAGE 1 Jeremy MastersENG 101Tara Warman29 June, 2008Our Education Gap: Where We Are Losing Our ChildrenToday our young children face a deficiency in regards to their education. This dilemma begins even before their compulsory education is slated to begin. The majority of children entering kindergarten today are under prepared for the academic challenges that will be presented to them. The Trust for Early Education (TEE) states, "Today

Ethics: Where Do We Learn What Constitutes Right or Wrong?

1016 words - 4 pages Ethics: where do we learn what constitutes right or wrong? Under the three schools of ethical thought, Utilitarianism, Deontological and Virtue Ethics, you will find that there are varied and different views of how we come by our value systems and how we determine right and wrong. However, in all three of these schools of thought there is one underlying commonality: ethical relativism deems that a person’s values and judgments are based upon

what are we worth?

842 words - 4 pages of time we are granted. As famous author J.K Rowling once said, “We’re all human aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same and worth saving.” Therefore, there is no difference in our value because of our gender, our age or our ethnicity but what differentiates us all is our ability to make decisions in our lives. It is what we choose to do with our life that affects how we perceive the value of it. In author Lynne Soraya’s article, she

History on the 14th Amendment. What is means and where we are now

1908 words - 8 pages , "Why do you push us around?" The police answered, "I don't know, but the law is the law and you are under arrest."By the time Rosa was put in jail, the whole black community new about the arrest, however they did not know that this small action would help end the segregation in the south.All of Rosa's life she had to live with the segregation laws that kept her separated from the Caucasians, it also allowed the Caucasians to treat the African

Where Do We Get Computer Terminology?

762 words - 4 pages Where We Get Computer Terminology Did you know that the first computers were people? That’s right, for about 200 years, a “computer” was a person who did scientific calculations by hand. When electronic calculating machines were invented, computer was a natural choice for what to call them. Sometimes new names are created to describe new technologies. But more often than not, new technologies get their names from old, familiar terms. At first

Where to We Begin

1584 words - 7 pages (155 calories, 7 carbs, 2 protein, 13 fat) After you’ve tracked your food and beverages for a week, you’ve probably come to some startling revelations about your diet and some key conclusions on how you arrived at the current situation. We are going to take a hard look at the food diary in the next chapter, under nutrition, and I’ll show you how to make some better choices that aren’t necessarily going to be radical changes. Heck nobody wants to be

How do we Become Who we are

1899 words - 8 pages happiness, importance and achievements in life to their physical appearance (Backman and Adams, 1991). How far we chose to go in our quest for societies current concept of beauty has an obvious effect on who we are and what we want from life.And so back to the original question, how do we become who we are? The answer is that there is no answer. Everybody becomes who they are as a result of an individual concoction of surroundings and circumstance

Where do planets come from

1349 words - 5 pages Justin Zhong Ms. Ljoka 2nd Annual Holy Spirit Science Fair February 21, 2013 Where do planets come from? Abstract Astronomers have spent many centuries wondering how our solar system and its planets came to be. We could only see the end result of planet formation, not the process itself. And we had no other examples to study. Even with the knowledge gained about other solar system, we were left to wonder, are there other planetary systems out

Where Do Babies Come From?

1072 words - 5 pages Where Do Babies Come From? "Uncle Merle, where do babies come from?," Six year old Jasper asked the man sitting beside him, who just so happened at that exact moment, to be taking a drink of water. There was a choking sound and water spewed from his mouth. Jasper quickly raised his hand up and slapped him on the back. It’s what mama and daddy always did when he got choked. Merle waved his hand away, “Jesus Christ boy! Don’tcha have parents to

Similar Essays

Paul Gauguin Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

1453 words - 6 pages Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? Paul Gauguin is known for being one of the world's greatest painters, although he was not much appreciated at his time. His work seems to tell stories of his life. In his series of painting done in Tahiti, we can see the many wonders that Gauguin himself explored. Today Gauguin's painting run for millions. For example; Paul Gauguin's Maternite (II) done in 1899 was sold for $39.2 million

Where Do We Go From Here

718 words - 3 pages damage that we have done to the Earth is irreversible, that is a fact. Well if we screwed ourselves this far, where can we go from here? To be completely honest, the possibilities are endless. There are so many options in fact that we have to narrow our question. Where do we go from here? Well the first answer is: We’ve destroyed our planet, why not find a new one in space? Or even better, lets build ourselves something to live on in space. This

Where Do We Go From Here

1957 words - 8 pages symbolic of the end of Capitalism and into Socialism where the people as a whole own property as opposed to property being private. There are reservations however with Socialism, and that is Government control through what Foucault termed: Panopticism. Panopticism, a term created by the French Philosopher by the name of Michel Foucault, states that, metaphorically, citizens of a society are being watched as

Where Is This Place We Are Taken?

876 words - 4 pages Where Is This Place We Are Taken?In Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" the speaker Prufrock takes us to a place. Where is the place that Prufrock takes us? Prufrock takes us on a journey inside his mind. This journey passes through Prufrock's insecurities and his spiritual life. Prufrock begins this journey by telling us a passage from Dante's Inferno. The passage tells of a man that was in hell, and shares his story because he