We can enter 19th century Tahiti by viewing this particular painting. We stand on a road which is little more than an open clearing, which makes its way past a small hut which sits to the right hand side. Tall trees stand besides it, helping to provide a vertical balance to that side of the artwork. To the left are smaller bushes which look dense and sit besides two small footpaths which appear to have worn away over time as local people make their way around this village. The soil is red, allowing the artist to incorporate a warmer palette than he would have normally used whilst working in Northern France. Several people make their way down this road, whilst a donkey or horse can be found relaxing by itself. In the background of Road in Tahiti we then see several hills leading up to mountains in the far distance. Behind them is a small section of bright blue sky and some white clouds. The artist then appends some bright colour where possible, such as yellow and orange tones on the leaves of some of the trees.
This artist was truely unique, from the way in which he painted to the content that he covered. Gauguin paintings serve as an historical guide to life on these islands over a century ago and this fairly primitive region would rarely have been seen visually in historical records were it not for artists such as this. Many in the European establishments thought Gauguin to be insane, or bizarre at best for choosing to relocate but most will lash out when their own norms are challenged. He fully embraced the Tahitian culture and there were many in the public who actually saw the beauty of this region for the first time, and entirely understood his reasons for moving there permanently.
Gauguin would produce many landscape scenes around Tahiti during his lifetime, as well as a number of personal portraits which aimed to capture life in this picturesque location. Some of these would include titles such as Tahitian Women on the Beach, Two Tahitian Women and When will you Marry?. The artist loved his new life once he had put Europe behind him and many in his native France were surprised and intrigued by his decision to relocate to such a culturally different region. His paintings would excite us all, and help others to learn about the local culture and customs in this fairly remote location. Today most people think of this body of work when considering Gauguin's career, in part because of its uniqueness within western art during the 19th century. Travel was far easier to organise at that time as compared today, and the contrast between cultures was also more significant.