Breton Women at the Gate, 1889
zincograph on yellow wove paper
Printed by Edward Ancourt
32.2 x 56.9 cm; image: 16.1 x 21.6 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 17332)
This is from the so-called "Volpini Suite" of ten prints published in an edition of 50 at the time of an exhibition by Gauguin and his followers at the Café des Arts, which was managed by a man named Volpini. Like the other prints from this suite, "Breton Women at the Gate" can be related to Gauguin's previous paintings. In this case, the woman with her back to the viewer also appears in "Four Breton Women" of 1886 (Neue Pinakothek, Munich). During the run of the exhibition, the prints were not framed, but available for viewing at the Café des Arts on request only. The choice of canary-yellow paper is a personally significant one for Gauguin. In the autumn of 1889 he would paint the famous "Yellow Christ" (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo), and on his return to Paris from Tahiti in 1894, he decorated the walls of his apartment in chrome yellow before putting up his collection of paintings by Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh.