Sheet: 47.6 x 31.3 cm (18 3/4 x 12 5/16 in.)
Elizabeth Carroll Shearer Fund 2020.289
Claude-Emile Schuffenecker met Paul Gauguin while the two were working at the same Parisian stockbrokerage. They both abandoned their jobs to become professional artists following a market crash in 1882.
Claude-Emile Schuffenecker worked closely with Paul Gauguin to form Synthetism, a style of art that broke from Impressionism in favor of flat planes of bold color and invented subjects. This drawing is a study for one of Schuffenecker’s most important works, Seaweed Gatherers, Yport, which exists in two versions, one of which belongs to the Cleveland Museum of Art. The other version of the drawing (owned by the Art Institute of Chicago) was featured in an influential 1889 exhibition organized by Gauguin and Schuffenecker at the Café Volpini on the grounds of the Universal Exposition. Both artists saw imagery of seaweed gatherers—a task undertaken by working class people in rural French coastal towns—as exemplifying the simplicity they sought in their art.
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