Riders on the Beach is based in Paul Gauguin’s beloved Tahiti, a place whose ‘primitive’ lifestyle he saw as an antidote to western pessimism. Stylistically, the 1902 picture seems to operate at the intersection of Impressionism and his later Cloisonnism.
In terms of his application of small dashes of paint of varying colours and the blurry light effects, this work is impressionistic. However, in the stark and bold drawing outlines, especially of the rider on the left seen in profile, this looks forward to Gauguin’s Cloisonnism, or segregation of different forms.
Paul Gauguin’s Riders on the Beach in the Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany.