'Vision After the Sermon', 1888 (oil on canvas)
PAUL GAUGUIN (1884-1903)
Fauvism has its roots in the post-impressionist paintings of Paul Gauguin. It was his use of symbolic color that pushed art towards the style of Fauvism. Gauguin proposed that color had a symbolic vocabulary which could be used to visually translate a range of emotions. In ‘Vision after the Sermon’ where Gauguin depicts Jacob wrestling with an angel, he paints the background a flat red to emphasize the mood and subject of the sermon: Jacob’s spiritual battle fought in a blood red field of combat. Gauguin believed that color had a mystical quality that could express our feelings about a subject rather than simply describe a scene. By breaking the established descriptive role that color had in painting, he inspired the younger artists of his day to experiment with new possibilities for color in art."