In the Waves (Dans les Vagues)

(French, 1848–1903)
Framed: 123.8 x 106 x 7 cm (48 3/4 x 41 3/4 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 92.5 x 72.4 cm (36 7/16 x 28 1/2 in.)
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Did You Know?

Gauguin likely painted this work of art during his time in a small coastal village called Pont-Aven where he sought to immerse himself in nature and escape modern civilization.


Painted at Pont-Aven in northwest France, this depiction of a nude figure throwing herself into the sea suggests a metaphor for a modern European woman forsaking civilization and abandoning herself to her natural, primitive instincts. The simplified lines and exaggerated colors, especially the contrasting green and orange, seem invented rather than observed from life. Exhibiting the painting at the Café Volpini in Paris in 1889, Gauguin established himself as a leader of the Symbolist movement in art.
In the Waves (Dans les Vagues)

In the Waves (Dans les Vagues)


Paul Gauguin

(French, 1848–1903)
France, 19th century


Primitive Instinct

Abstraction and Emotion

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