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Kunsthaus Zürich

Paul Gauguin

Whereas van Gogh was concerned to deepen the Impressionist view of reality through the exaltation of his spiritual, psychic vision, Gauguin and his circle consciously strove to create a new style that would combine the elemental decorative forms of European folk art or Japanese woodcuts with the symbolic use of forms of the Middle Ages. The image of The Gate, from which the painting takes its title, is not merely a picturesque distortion of reality; rather, its expressive quality lends the space surrounding the young woman an almost iconic status. The colours and forms glow, as in a fairytale, with a wonderful distinctness; as if blessed with a soul the rock holds the gate with its arm and calls to mind the menhirs of ancient Brittany, possessed by pagan spirits. The fenced-in meadow contrasts with the boundless freedom of the white sailing ship on the distant sea, a metaphor for the wanderlust that was soon to drive Gauguin to a Tahiti permeated by an animistic belief in the spirit world.

Paul Gauguin (1849–1903)
Das Gittertor, 1889
Oil on canvas, 92,5 x 73 cm
Legat Frau H. Hausammann, 1981
Paul Gauguin (1849–1903)
Das Gittertor, 1889
Oil on canvas, 92,5 x 73 cm
Legat Frau H. Hausammann, 1981