We find here a selection of trees placed across the painting, one of which fills almost the entire vertical space on the left hand side. They are all in a light grey tone, with green foliage appearing from their upper regions. There is also a central tree with a darker trunk which is positioned further back and is fits entirely into the artwork. We then discover a few flowers growing wild in the foreground as part of a varied landscape which feels entirely natural and uncurated. There are then a few animals popping about, perhaps owned by the locals. A flash of orange then decorates the sky, leaving behind a bright and expressive artwork. There is a simplicity to the style of this piece, without any complex lighting effects or any major display of perspective, which is inline with the contemporary approach used by many artists in the early 20th century.
This painting came right at the end of the artist's life, and possibly might even have been his last painting of all. It is hard to be too precise because he was living in remote parts of the world by that stage of his life and gaining records from these parts of his career has proven problematic. We know that two years earlier the artist had gone to an area called Hiva Ova, which is a location known for its fertile nature. Life here was simple and traditional, which appealed to Gauguin, someone that had turned his back on the selfish and distracted nature of western society, as he saw it. He did suffer illness several times whilst away and this was one of the few moments when he perhaps missed the advanced nature of society in his native France, where treatment would have been easier to source and probably more effective.
You can find this memorable piece in the collection of the Ateneum Art Museum which is based in the city of Helsinki in Finland. They have a good collection of European artists and also offer a focus on local Finnish artists who are sometimes overlooked by other nations. They have a good number of Realist artists here which tend to appeal well to the public, with their depictions of life in the mid to late 19th century. They have some lesser known artworks from big names which helps to draw the public in every year, including paintings such as Portrait of the Artist Léopold Survage by Amedeo Modigliani, The Road Bridge at L'Estaque by Paul Cezanne and Street in Auvers-sur-Oise by Vincent van Gogh. Another Gauguin painting in their collection is Landscape in Tahiti (Mahana Maà).