Bathers in Brittany, from the Volpini Suite: Dessins lithographiques

Paul Gauguin French

Not on view

On the fairgrounds of the Paris World's Fair of 1889, at Volpini's Café des Arts, Gauguin exhibited a brand new suite of ten zincographs printed on bright yellow paper. Known as the "Volpini Suite," the prints served as a pictorial souvenir of Gauguin's recent travels in Brittany, Martinique, and Arles.

This print was likely inspired by the artist's sojourn in Le Pouldu, a small fishing village near Pont-Aven where he stayed in 1889-90, and shows a nude female figure tentatively approaching the sea. Her rustic clogs (the traditional footwear of Brittany) are discarded on the beach at lower left. The abstract, flowing forms that surround her evoke the wild and rocky shoreline of Brittany's coast. A second bather can be seen in the upper left of the composition, swimming in the waves.

Bathers in Brittany, from the Volpini Suite: Dessins lithographiques, Paul Gauguin (French, Paris 1848–1903 Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands), Zincograph on chrome yellow wove paper; first edition

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.