The Wildenstein Institute will include this work in their forthcoming Paul Gauguin catalogue critique.
Executed during the 1880s, Etude de végétation is a lush landscape that perfectly demonstrates Gauguin's intense love of nature as well as reflecting the importance of two of his fellow artists on his development: Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne. It was almost certainly through his guardian, Gustave Arosa, himself a great patron of the artists of his day, that Gauguin had met Pissarro, and for several years he painted in his company, both in studios and in the open landscape. This led to a fascination and great support on the part of Gauguin for the Impressionists; this enthusiasm was reflected both in his collecting works by the artists of the movement, especially Cézanne, and in his adoption of their painting style.
In Etude de végétation, the attention paid to the varied vegetation shows the influence of Pissarro, yet the structured manner in which he has painted a highly three-dimensional landscape with his angled brushstrokes shows the influence of Cézanne, one of the great masters of the watercolor medium. This is evident in the foreground, where the various surfaces and angles of the ground, especially around the stream that flows through the dip, have been rendered through a strategic construction of strokes that hint at the planar.