Landscape in Normandy (Cows at the Trough)

Paul Gauguin1885/1885

Galleria d'Arte Moderna - Milano

Galleria d'Arte Moderna - Milano
Milan, Italy

This painting, which belongs to a series of 6 works, was created during Paul Gauguin's stay in Dieppe, Normandy, during the summer of 1885. Although reports from the artist's stay in the north of France are unclear, this seems to have been an important period in his artistic journey, during which—perhaps due to his liberation from familial constraints—he developed a creative compulsion that was unusual for him. In the lower left-hand corner, a shepherd, surrounded by the rural landscape, watches the cattle grazing. The cow in the foreground grazes on a bush, while others, further in the distance, drink at a stream surrounded by shrubs. The red-roofed building on the right, perhaps a surviving barn that Gauguin had previously reproduced, is partially hidden by trees, while a field dotted with trees—probably apple trees—stretches out in the background. The painter's interest in depicting cows can be traced back to his stay in Rouen in 1884, during which he created a series of rural landscapes with animals, inspired by similar works by Caillebotte and Manet. It appears that 1885 was one of the years in which Gauguin stuck most closely to the tenets of Impressionism, as can be seen in the combination of the complementary colors, red and green, which have been laid out in closely spaced brushstrokes.


  • Title: Landscape in Normandy (Cows at the Trough)
  • Creator: Paul Gauguin
  • Date: 1885/1885
  • Physical Location: Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Milano
  • gift: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: w64 x h80 cm
  • Provenance: Donation
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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