(Paris 1848–1903 Fatu-Iwa / Marquesas Islands) Tahitien assis, watercolour, pencil on handmade paper, 13.7 x 10.8 cm, framed, (PS)
Confirmation of authenticity:
Guy Wildenstein, Wildenstein Institute Paris, 18.11.2010 archive no. 10.11.19/11275. This work will be included in the Catalogue Raisonné des Oeuvres of Paul Gauguin.
It was Gauguin’s intention to get to know the Polynesians and their culture, and yet it is Western culture with which we are confronted with in most of his works. He did not find it possible to completely remove himself from his origins and he saw the Tropics through the rose-tinted glasses of his paradisical expectations. Gauguin took numerous reproductions of Western artworks with him to Tahiti, in order to transplant them loosely or to cite them directly. Both the landscapes and the people depicted turn up again and again in the most varied of works. The young Polynesian in our watercolour is dressed in a blue-grey wrap and a white top and is seated on a grey ground before a blue wall. In the background one can make out a schematic bush and a split tree trunk. Gauguin’s watercolours are sketches, small details of the larger oil paintings, which the artist later used as reference for his finished works.
Provenance: Bolsen Collection, Copenhagen Private Collection, New York
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