Artibus et Historiae no. 33 (XVII)

1996, ISSN 0391-9064

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THEA BURNS, VOJTECH JIRAT-WASIUTYƃSKI - Paul Gauguin's Breton Girl by the Sea: Recovering a Gouache for the Artist's Oeuvre

Combining technical and historical research, a paper conservator and an art historian study a recently discovered work by Paul Gauguin. The small painting of a Breton Girl by the Sea, signed and dated 1889, has altered significantly in colour and tonal relations over time. Fugitive colour has faded and the paper support has darkened. Scientific techniques are used to recover a more precise idea of its original appearance. Technical study shows that the painting was carefully developed from underdrawing to painted surface in a procedure very similar to Gauguin's painting practice. Media, palette and execution can be related to other primitivizing works of 1889 and their pre-Raphaelite and non-Western "Oriental" sources.

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