Our artist is concentrating on painting his Impressionist still life while women talk in the next room. How often has this been the experience of any one of a number of artists? Gauguin’s storyline lightens an otherwise somber painting.
Paul Gauguin, The Wave, 1888
I think this man is a rather playful guy. The women talking in the next room was a sly bit of humor on himself. Little Paul is indoors practicing his violin lessons while the boys are busy roughhousing outside. This picture at the shore is just plain fun. Yeah, red sand, colorful surf… it gave the Fauvists something to think about.
What’s he doing up there? From the cliff he can easily hear shouts of delight coming from those frolicking below. It has the look of a landscape but his choice in colors makes this painting about expressing joy. He’s also introduced something unexpected. Gauguin gives us a bird’s eye view of people playing among the crashing waves.
Both pictures give us sound – grouped women conversing, frolickers shouting. Not a bad thought. It breathes life into the scenes.