Gauguin and Laval in Martinique



Next October, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will stage a pictorial dialogue between artists Paul Gauguin and Charles Laval; both were connected to Vincent Van Gogh.

This is the first exhibition that will parallel the works of Gauguin and Laval and highlight their relationship as both artists and friends. Central themes of the exhibition include the depiction of landscapes and their experimentation with colour.

In 1887, after having visited Panama, both artists spent the time from June to November near Saint Pierre on the Caribbean island of Martinique. Their experiences were recorded in Gauguin’s letters to his wife Mette and his artist friend Emile Schuffenecker. During their short stay in the island and highly influenced by what they saw and encountered, Gauguin and Laval made some of their best work. The brightly coloured works made during this era remain some of the most influential they ever produced. The exhibition which will be running until 13 January 2009, will feature exceptional sketches and large-scale pastel works and showcase how they influenced one another.

Associated with the School of Pont-Aven (Brittany) where he met Gauguin, Charles Laval achieved success at the annual Salon exhibitions in Paris at an early age. In 1890, Gauguin and Laval fell in love with the same woman, which brought their friendship to an end.


Image: Paul Gauguin, The Mango Trees, Martinique, 1887