Busagny Farm, Osny
Paul Gauguin, French, Busagny Farm, Osny, 1883, Oil on canvas; 64.8 x 54.6 cm (25 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches), Helen M. Danforth Acquisition Fund in honor of Houghton P. Metcalf, Jr. 1999.3
In early summer of 1883, Paul Gauguin joined Camille Pissarro to paint in the farming village of Osny. While emulating Pissarro’s small, dense strokes Gauguin seems to challenge his mentor’s orderliness and balance. He experiments with patches of disorganized marks whose colors begin to veer from nature’s traditional harmonies. The heightened greens, reds, and purples in the foreground of this painting suggest his growing rejection of accepted, realist “truths.” Anticipating a new style in which compositions were no longer dependent on framing nature, he also skews the motif of the farm, making it uncomfortably featureless and off-balance.