Vision of the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel) (1888)
About this artwork
This painting, which dates from 1888 and was made in Pont-Aven, Brittany, is one of Gauguin's most famous works. The Breton women, dressed in distinctive regional costume, have just listened to a sermon based on a passage from the Bible. Genesis (32:22-32) relates the story of Jacob, who, after fording the river Jabbok with his family, spent a whole night wrestling with a mysterious angel. In a letter the artist wrote to Van Gogh he said 'For me the landscape and the fight only exist in the imagination of the people praying after the sermon.'
- title: Vision of the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel)
- accession number: NG 1643
- artist: Paul GauguinFrench (1848 - 1903)
- gallery: On Loan
- object type: Painting
- subject: Christianity Post Impressionism Symbolism
- medium: Oil on canvas
- date created: 1888
- measurements: 72.20 x 91.00 cm (framed: 96.00 x 116.70 x 8.30 cm)
- credit line: Purchased 1925
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
Gauguin's highly original paintings profoundly influenced modern art of the twentieth century. Now described as a 'Post-Impressionist', he was inspired to paint by Pissarro, but developed a symbolic style, using colour to express meaning. Traditions in western art and cultures outside Europe influenced his work. Gauguin's taste for travel and new experiences began when, as a child, he left Paris for Peru. In 1883 he abandoned stockbroking to dedicate himself to painting full-time. He painted in Brittany, and in Provence with Van Gogh. Gauguin travelled to Panama and Martinique and settled in Tahiti for several years. He died on the remote Marchese Islands.