The National Museum of Western Art

update 27 July 2018

on display Permanent Collection

Paul Gauguin [Paris, 1848 - Atuona, Hiva'Oa, Marquesas Islands, 1903]

Two Breton Girls by the Sea

Date1889
Materials/Techniquesoil on canvas
Size (cm)92.5 x 73.6
InscriptionsSigned and dated lower right: P Gauguin 89
Credit LineMatsukata Collection
Standard ref.Wildenstein 340
CategoryPaintings
Collection NumberP.1959-0106
Two Breton Girls by the Sea

After his short stay with van Gogh in Arles, Gauguin once again chose Brittany as the site of his work during 1889 and 1890. Two Breton Girls by the Sea is one of the best examples of this period, and its planar use of bright red, green and blue pigments speaks of the creation of his "Cloisonnism", a style characterized by distinctive outlines, that became his signature. This work was created in the Brittany town of Le Pouldu during the autumn of 1889 and depicts two young girls wearing the clothing of the region. A preparatory sketch drawn in pastels showing only the two figures is currently in a private collection in London. Here, the large-scale completed composition brings the forms of these two girls to the very edge of the image's front left, while its flat application of pigments was undoubtedly a revolutionary form for the period. Gauguin took this style one step further after his 1891 departure for Tahiti. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.87)

Provenance

Kojiro Matsukata; Sequestered by the French Government, 1944; Returned to Japan, 1959.

Exhibition History

1947
Les origines de l'art contemporain, Strasbourg, 1947 - 1947, Besançon; Nancy, 1947, cat. no. 61
1948
Gli impressionisti alla XXIV Biennale di Venezia, Venezia, 1948 - 1948, cat. no. 82
1949
Landscape in French art, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1949 - 1950, cat. no. 286
1949
Gauguin, Orangerie, Paris, 1949 - 1949, cat. no. 20
1950
Gauguin et le groupe de Pont-Aven, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Quimper, 1950 - 1950, cat. no. 9
1951
Le fauvisme, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1951 - 1951, cat. no. 8
1953
Van Gogh's grote tijdgenoten, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1953 - 1953, Krölder-Müller Museum, Otterlo, cat. no. 10
1958
Paysages de France, Musée de Rouen, 1958 - 1958, cat. no. 78
1960
The Masterpieces of the Ex-Matsukata Collection, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 14 May 1960 - 10 July 1960, cat. no. 44, repr.
1962
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Art Gallery of Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya, 17 November 1962 - 9 December 1962, cat. no. 28 (当館記録による)
1962
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Hakutsuru Museum, Kobe, 20 October 1962 - 5 November 1962, P-155
1963
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Ishibashi Museum of Art, Kurume, 26 October 1963 - 10 November 1963, P-155
1963
The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Shimane Prefectural Museum, Matsue, 5 October 1963 - 20 October 1963, P-155
1964
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Nakajima Sports Center of Hokkaido Prefecture, 22 August 1964 - 13 September 1964, cat. no. 34
1965
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Okayama Prefecture, Okayama, 20 October 1965 - 7 November 1965, cat. no. 28
1965
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, Kanazawa, 22 September 1965 - 10 October 1965, cat. no. 28
1966
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Oita Prefecture, Oita, 12 November 1966 - 27 November 1966, cat. no. 22
1966
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Wakayama Prefectural Museum of Art, Wakayama, 15 October 1966 - 4 November 1966, cat. no. 22
1967
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Kagoshima Municipal Museum of Art, 28 April 1967 - 21 May 1967, cat. no. 22
1968
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art, Hiroshima, 26 October 1968 - 17 November 1968, cat. no. 28
1968
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Niigata Prefectural Museum, Niigata, 14 July 1968 - 4 August 1968, cat. no. 28
1969
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Ibaraki Prefecture, Mito, 22 November 1969 - 21 December 1969, cat. no. 27
1970
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, Nagasaki Prefectural Museum, Nagasaki, 18 October 1970 - 15 November 1970, cat. no. 28
1971
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Toyama Prefectural Center, Museum of Art, Toyama, 2 October 1971 - 24 October 1971, cat. no. 25
1972
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Shinano Museum of Art of Nagano Prefecture, Nagano, 12 October 1972 - 5 November 1972, cat. no. 27
1973
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Kochi Prefecture, Kochi, 28 October 1973 - 25 November 1973, cat. no. 29
1974
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka, 13 October 1974 - 10 November 1974, cat. no. 28
1974
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Saga Prefectural Museum, Saga, 16 November 1974 - 1 December 1974, cat. no. 28
1975
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Yamagata Museum, Yamagata, 1 November 1975 - 30 November 1975, cat. no. 28
1976
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Tottori Prefectural Museum, Tottori, 9 October 1976 - 7 November 1976, cat. no. 29
1977
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Nara Prefectural Museum, Nara, 15 October 1977 - 13 November 1977, cat. no. 26
1978
[Tour Exhibition] Masterpieces from the National Museum of Western Art, The Art Center of Oita Prefecture, Oita, 20 December 1978 - 31 January 1979, cat. no. 20
1979
French Paintings at the End of 19th Century and the Beginning of the 20th Century in Japanese Collections, Hermitage, Leningrad, 1979 - 1979, Vilnius Museum, Vilnius; Puschkin Museum, Moscow, 1979, cat. no. 18, repr.
1987
Paul Gauguin , The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 6 March 1987 - 17 May 1987, cat. no. 32, col. repr.
1989
Gauguin, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 10 January 1989 - 24 April 1989, cat. no. 91, col. repr.
1994
Van Gogh, His Sources, Genius and Influence, Queensland Art Gallery, 22 January 1994 - 13 March 1994, cat. no. 52, col. repr.
1996
The Crossing Visions: European and Modern Japanese Art from the Collections of The National Museum of Western Art & The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 20 July 1996 - 8 September 1996, cat. no. 44
2000
Tanka at the National Museum of Western Art: An Encounter between Poet and Art, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 25 July 2000 - 29 October 2000, cat. no. 46
2005
Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi , Museum Collection, 10 October 2005 - 11 December 2005
2009
Paul Gauguin, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 3 July 2009 - 23 September 2009, cat. no. 10, col. repr.
2013
Monet, An Eye for Landscapes: Innovation in 19th Century French Landscape Paintings, Pola Museum of Art, 13 July 2013 - 24 November 2013, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 7 December 2013-9 March 2014, cat. no. 53, col. repr.
2015
Japan's Love for Impressionism: From Monet to Renoir, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, 8 October 2015 - 21 February 2016, cat. no. 101, col. repr.

Bibliography

1930
Alexandre, A. Paul Gauguin, sa vie et le sens de son œuvre. Paris, 1930, p. 250.
1948
Réne-Jean. Gauguin. Paris, 1948, repr.
1950
Dovski, L. van. Gauguin. Bern, 1950, p. 343.
1953
Estienne, Ch. Gauguin. Genève, 1953, p. 48, col. repr.
1955
La Collection Matsukata, Tokyo, Asahi- Shimbun, 1955 (Japanese), no. 23, col. repr.
1961
Catalogue du Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1961 (Préface and Catalogue Général in Japanese and French), P-155.
1964
Wildenstein, G. Gauguin. 1, catalogue, Paris, 1964, p. 130-131, no. 340. repr.
1971
Les cent chefs-d'œuvre du Musée National d'Art Occidental. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1971 (Japanese), no. 34, col. repr.
1973
Daval, J.-L. Journal de l'art moderne 1884-1914. Genève, 1973, p. 90, repr.
1975
Les cent chefs-d'œuvre du Musée National d'Art Occidental. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1975 (Japanese), no. 53, col. repr.
1978
Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1978 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 59, col. repr.
1979
The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo: Catalogue of Paintings. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1979, no. 129, repr.
1990
The Old Matsukata Collection. Kobe City Museum, ed. Kobe, "Matsukata Korekushon Ten" Jikkoiinkai, 1990, cat. no. 703.
2013
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 106, col. repr.

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