Gauguin's Chair, 1888 by Van Gogh

This was the accompanying picture to Van Gogh's Chair, and was painted at around the same time, in December 1888, just before Van Gogh's first serious episode of temporary insanity. Unlike Van Gogh's chair, which was simple and rush seated, Gauguin's chair was padded with arms, making it an altogether superior seat. It has retained a similar symbolic relevance and has again taken on the mantle of its absent owner, but in this painting the chair is less personal, there is less of Paul Gauguin present, whereas there is no doubt from Van Gogh's simple rush chair who it belongs to.

The artist approached the depiction of his friend's chair differently too, and the brushstrokes are more fragmented giving a sense of disorder through the short dabs of light point that make up the patterned floor. The chair also looms slightly unerringly at the front of the canvas, breaking through the natural frame of the picture. Both this and Von Gogh's Chair were unfinished at the time of his first breakdown, he never returned to this painting, but did finish that of his chair in January 1889