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Ia Orana Maria (Hail Mary)

Paul Gauguin (French, Paris 1848–1903 Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands )

Date:
1891
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
44 3/4 x 34 1/2 in. (113.7 x 87.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951
Accession Number:
51.112.2
  • Gallery Label

    Before embarking on a series of pictures inspired by Polynesian religious beliefs, Gauguin devoted this, his first major Tahitian canvas, to a Christian theme, describing it in a letter of March 1892: "An angel with yellow wings reveals Mary and Jesus, both Tahitians, to two Tahitian women, nudes dressed in pareus, a sort of cotton cloth printed with flowers that can be draped from the waist. Very somber, mountainous background and flowering trees . . . a dark violet path and an emerald green foreground, with bananas on the left. I'm rather happy with it." Gauguin based much of the composition on a photograph he owned of a bas-relief in the Javanese temple of Borobudur.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed: (lower right) P Gauguin 91; (lower left) IA ORANA MARIA (Hail Mary)

  • Provenance

    Michel Manzi, Paris (1893–1915; bought for Fr 2,000 from the Durand-Ruel exhibition, November 1893–d. 1915; his estate, 1915–19; his estate sale, Galerie Manzi et Joyant, Paris, March 13–14, 1919, no. 56, ill., for Fr 58,000 to Knoedler); [Knoedler, New York, 1919]; Adolph Lewisohn, New York (1919–d. 1938); his son, Sam A. Lewisohn, New York (1938–d. 1951)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Durand-Ruel. "Exposition d'oeuvres récentes de Paul Gauguin," November 1893, no. 1 (as "Ia Orana Maria [Ave Maria]").

    New York. M. Knoedler & Co.. December 1919? [see Field 1919].

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition," May 8–August 1920, unnumbered cat. (p. 10, as "Ia Orana Maria," lent by Adolph Lewisohn).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings," May 3–September 15, 1921, no. 47 (lent by Adolph Lewisohn).

    New York. Union League Club. "Exhibition of 'Modern' Pictures Representing Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Expressionist, and Cubist Painters," April 8–10, 1924, no. 16.

    New York. Durand-Ruel. "Loan Exhibition of French Masterpieces of the Late XIX Century," March 20–April 10, 1928, no. 8 (as "Ia orana Maria," lent by Mr. Adolph Lewisohn).

    New York. M. Knoedler & Co.. "A Century of French Painting," November 12–December 8, 1928, no. 29.

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Summer Exhibition: Retrospective," June 15–September 28, 1930, no. 39 (lent by Adolph Lewisohn, New York).

    London. Royal Academy of Arts. "French Art: 1200–1900," January 4–March 12, 1932, no. 540 [commemorative catalogue, no. 382].

    Art Institute of Chicago. "A Century of Progress," June 1–November 1, 1933, no. 366 (as "We Greet You, Mary" ["Ia Orana Maria"]).

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Modern Works of Art," November 20, 1934–January 20, 1935, no. 12 (as "We Greet You, Mary [Ia Orana Maria]," lent from the Adolph Lewisohn collection).

    Toledo Museum of Art. "Cézanne, Gauguin," June–August 1935, unnumbered cat. (lent by Mr. Adolph Lewisohn).

    New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc.. "Paul Gauguin: 1848–1903," March 20–April 18, 1936, no. 17 (as "'We Greet Thee, Mary' Ia Orana Maria," lent by the Adolph Lewisohn Collection, New York City).

    Cleveland Museum of Art. "Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition," June 26–October 4, 1936, no. 276 (lent by The Adolph Lewisohn Collection, New York).

    Paris. Palais National des Arts. "Chefs d'œuvre de l'art français," July–September 1937, no. 326 (lent by Collection Adolphe Lewisohn, New-York) [no. 46 in Huyghe 1937].

    New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Art in Our Time," May 10–September 30, 1939, no. 67 (as "We Greet You, Mary [Ia Orana Maria]," lent by the Lewisohn collection, New York).

    New York. World's Fair. "Masterpieces of Art: European & American Paintings, 1500–1900," May–October 1940, no. 355 (lent by the Lewisohn collection, New York).

    New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc.. "A Loan Exhibition of Paul Gauguin," April 3–May 4, 1946, no. 19 (as "Ave Maria—'Ia Orana Maria'," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Lewisohn).

    Paris. Orangerie des Tuileries. "Gauguin: Exposition du centenaire," 1949, no. 25 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Lewisohn, New-York).

    New York. Paul Rosenberg. "The 19th Century Heritage," March 7–April 1, 1950, no. 8 (as "Ia Orana Maria [Ave Maria]," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lewisohn Collection," November 2–December 2, 1951, no. 34 (Bequest of Samuel A. Lewisohn to The Metropolitan Museum of Art).

    Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne. "L'oeuvre du XXe siècle: peintures - sculptures," May–June 1952, no. 31.

    Art Institute of Chicago. "Gauguin: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Sculpture," February 12–March 29, 1959, no. 28 (as "I Hail Thee, Mary [Ia Orana Maria])".

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gauguin: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Sculpture," April 23–May 31, 1959, no. 28.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, no. 384.

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "The Art of Paul Gauguin," May 1–July 31, 1988, no. 135 (as "Ia orana Maria").

    Art Institute of Chicago. "The Art of Paul Gauguin," September 17–December 11, 1988, no. 135.

    Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "The Art of Paul Gauguin," January 10–April 20, 1989, no. 135.

    Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "Gauguin," May 20–July 20, 1989, no. 22.

    Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "Gauguin," July 30–October 4, 1989, no. 22.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lure of the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections," June 18–October 20, 2002, no. 55.

    Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Gauguin Tahiti," September 30, 2003–January 19, 2004, no. 74.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Gauguin Tahiti," February 29–June 20, 2004, no. 74.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 106.

    Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19.Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.

  • References

    Paul Gauguin. Letter to de Monfreid. March 11, 1892 [published in "Lettres de Gauguin à Daniel de Monfreid," A. Joly-Segalen, ed., 1950, p. 54], describes this work, implying that it is the first finished painting that he has completed in Tahiti, as distinct from sketches and studies, adding that he is rather happy with it; includes a sketch of the work in a horizontal format (ill. between pp. 80 and 81).

    Alfred Jarry. Ia Orana Maria. 1893/94 [published in exh. cat. "Gauguin et le groupe de Pont-Aven," Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper, 1950, pp. 25, 61].

    Charles Morice. Exposition d'oeuvres récentes de Paul Gauguin. Exh. cat., Durand-Ruel. Paris, November 1893, pp. 14–15.

    Paul Gauguin. Letter. ?February 1895, unpaginated [see Ref. Autograph Letters and Documents 1965, which includes a reproduction of the first page], remarks that a reproduction of it appeared in "Le figaro illustré" [apparently recently].

    Paul Gauguin. Letter to Georges-Daniel de Monfreid. June 1899 [published in "Lettres de Gauguin à Daniel de Monfreid," A. Segalen, ed., 1950, p. 145], mentions that he would like to have "Iaora na Maria" shown at Vollard's gallery in 1900—at the same time as the exhibition of the Symbolists, Pointillists, and Rose Croix—if Manzi would agree to lend it.

    Paul Gauguin. Letter to Georges-Daniel de Monfreid. April 1900 [published in "Lettres de Gauguin à Daniel de Monfreid," A. Joly-Segalen, ed., 1950, p. 158], mentions that he would like to have it exhibited at Vollard's gallery during the Exposition Universelle—one of several good older pictures to be shown with his recent work.

    Paul Gauguin. Letter to Ambrose Vollard. September 1900 [reprinted in "Letters to Ambroise Vollard & André Fontainas," ed. John Rewald, San Francisco, 1943, p. 39], remarks that he sold it to Manzi for 2,000 francs.

    Paul Gauguin and Charles Morice. "Noa Noa". Paris, 19[??], p. 19.

    Hamilton Easter Field. "Art New and Old in Current Shows." Arts & Decoration 12 (December 15, 1919), p. 109.

    Charles Morice. Paul Gauguin. first ed. [new ed. 1920]. Paris, 1919, p. 171 n. 1, pp. 183, 201.

    "French, English, and American Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (September 1920), p. 208.

    Charles Chassé. Gauguin et le groupe de Pont-Aven. Paris, 1921, pp. 50–52, remarks on the resemblance of the head of the Virgin to one by de Haan.

    A Committee of Citizens and Supporters of the Museum. Protest against the Present Exhibition of Degenerate "Modernistic" Works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [New York], September 1921 [reprinted in Ref. Rewald 1989], include it in a list of paintings that are "simply pathological in conception, drawing, perspective and color".

    Royal Cortissoz. "Modern Unrest in French Art: Some Leading Types Shown At the Metropolitan." New York Tribune (May 8, 1921), p. 7.

    Achille Delaroche. "Concerning the Painter Paul Gauguin, from an Aesthetic Point of View." Paul Gauguin's Intimate Journals. New York, 1921, p. 41.

    Pola Gauguin. "Paul Gauguin." Kunst og Kultur 9 (1921), p. 248.

    Stephen Bourgeois. "A Notable Group of French Modernists." Arts & Decoration (November 1922), pp. 25, 74, ill.

    Gustave Kahn. "Paul Gauguin." L'Art et les artistes 12 (October 1925–February 1926), p. 61.

    Maurice Denis. Journal entry. October 3, 1927 [published in Maurice Denis, "Journal," vol. 3, 1959, p. 83], mentions "le grand Gauguin, Orana, celui que j'ai restauré" in the Lewisohn collection during a visit to New York.

    Stephan Bourgeois. "The Passion of Art Collecting: Notes on the Adolph Lewisohn Collection." Art News (April 14, 1928), pp. 64, 67, ill.

    Stephan Bourgeois. The Adolph Lewisohn Collection of Modern French Paintings and Sculptures. New York, 1928, pp. 160–61, ill.

    A. Alexandre. Paul Gauguin, sa vie et le sens de son oeuvre. Paris, 1930, pp. 133, 135–40, 157, 161, 263–64, ill.

    R. H. Wile[n]ski. French Painting. Boston, 1931, pp. 289, 294, pl. 120.

    Stephan Bourgeois and Waldemar George. "The French Paintings of the XIXth and XXth Centuries in the Adolph and Samuel Lewisohn Collection." Formes nos. 28–29 (1932), pp. 301–302.

    André Dezarrois. "Chroniques: L'art français à Londres." Revue de l'art ancien et moderne 61 (January–May 1932), p. 103.

    James Johnson Sweeney. "Exhibition of French Art, Burlington House." Creative Art 10 (May 1932), pp. 350, 353.

    "The Century of Progress Exhibition of the Fine Arts." Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 27 (April–May 1933), p. 67.

    A Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture Lent from American Collections. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 1933, p. 52, no. 366, discusses related works including drawings and prints of the figure of the mother with the child on her shoulder.

    Daniel Catton Rich. "The Exhibition of French Art 'Art Institute of Chicago'." Formes no. 33 (1933), p. 383.

    Modern Works of Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1934, pp. 12, 23, no. 12, pl. 12.

    Charles Kunstler. Gauguin: Peintre maudit. Paris, 1934, p. 170, mentions a lithograph after it.

    Beril Becker. Paul Gauguin: The Calm Madman. New York, 1935, pp. 195–96.

    Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition. Exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, 1936, pp. 107–8, no. 276, ill.

    Paul Gauguin, 1848–1903. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 1936, pp. 29, 46, no. 17, ill.

    Pola Gauguin. My Father Paul Gauguin. first American ed. [Norwegian ed. (?)]. New York, 1937, pp. 171–72, suggests that this picture was inspired by Gauguin hearing the news of the birth of his child to his former mistress in Paris.

    René Huyghe. La peinture française: XVIIIme et XIXme siècles (figures et portraits). Paris, 1937, unpaginated, no. 46, ill. (detail).

    Introduction by René Huyghe. Cent trente chefs-d'œuvre de l'art français du moyen age au XXe siècle. Paris, 1937, pl. 111.

    Sam A. Lewisohn. Painters and Personality: A Collector's View of Modern Art. [New York], 1937, pp. 61–63, ill.

    Charles Sterling in Chefs d'œuvre de l'art français. Exh. cat., Palais National des Arts. Paris, 1937, p. 162, no. 326.

    Martin Tow. Tainted Paradise: A Study of the Life and Art of Paul Gauguin. New York, 1937, pp. 107, 153.

    Sam A. Lewisohn. "Personalities Past and Present." Art News, section I (The 1939 Annual), 37 (February 25, 1939), pp. 70, 154, ill. (installation photo of Lewisohn's home).

    Art in our Time. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1939, unpaginated, no. 67, ill., calls the subject "a poetic translation into Tahitian terms of the traditional 'Adoration of the Shepherds'".

    Mary H. Piexotto. "Famous Art Collections: The Lewisohn Collection." Studio 117 (March 1939), pp. 95, 101, ill.

    Walter Pach in Masterpieces of Art: Catalogue of European and American Paintings, 1500–1900. Exh. cat., World's Fair. New York, 1940, pp. 242, 244, no. 355, ill.

    R. H. Wilenski. Modern French Painters. New York, [1940], p. 131.

    Maurice Malingue. Gauguin. Monaco, 1943, pp. 30, 89, ill.

    Henry La Farge. "John La Farge and the South Sea Idyll." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 7 (1944), p. 38, identifies the Madonna as Tahitian and the angel as Maori.

    Hans Graber. Paul Gauguin nach eigenen und fremden Zeugnissen. Basel, 1946, pp. 351–52, 377, ill. between pp. 284 and 285.

    Raymond Cogniat. Gauguin. Paris, 1947, p. 33, pl. 63.

    Henri Perruchot. Gauguin: Sa vie ardente et misérable. Paris, 1948, pp. 188, 190–91, ill. opp. p. 97, comments on its spiritual qualities and contrasts it to "The Yellow Christ" (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo) made while Gauguin was still in Britanny.

    Frank Elgar. Gauguin. Paris, 1949, unpaginated, no. 16, pl. 16.

    Jean Leymarie. "Musée de l'Orangerie: Exposition Gauguin." Musées de France (June 1949), p. 110, notes that Arsène Alexandre calls it a "portique de l'oeuvre tahitienne," but does not cite a source.

    Denys Sutton. "The Paul Gauguin Exhibition." Burlington Magazine 91, no. 559 (October 1949), p. 284 n. 9.

    Alexander Watt. "The Centenary Exhibition of the Work of Gauguin." Apollo 50 (October 1949), p. 98.

    Georg Schmidt. Gauguin. Bern, 1950, p. 28, ill. p. 49.

    Bernard Dorival. "Sources of the Art of Gauguin from Java, Egypt and Ancient Greece." Burlington Magazine 93 (April 1951), pp. 118–19, fig. 16, describes how Gauguin used various elements from the decoration of the Javanese temple of Borobudur in this picture; illustrates a photograph of the temple from Gauguin's collection (fig. 15).

    Henri Dorra. "Ia Orana Maria." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 10 (May 1952), pp. 254–60, ill.

    Henri Dorra. "The First Eves in Gauguin's Eden." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 41 (March 1953), p. 189, fig. 2.

    Paul Gauguin. Carnet de Tahiti. facsimile of Gauguin's Carnet de Tahiti. Paris, 1954, pp. 17, 26, 29, 36, 58 n. 3, p. 60 n. 3, p. 61 n. 2, p. 62 n. 1 to p. 39, remarks that although the work is dated 1891, it can be inferred that he completed it shortly before writing his letter to Monfreid of March 11, 1892 [see Ref. Gauguin 1892].

    John Rewald. Paul Gauguin (1848–1903). New York, 1954, unpaginated, colorpl. 14.

    Robert J. Goldwater. Paul Gauguin. 1st ed. [concise ed. 1983]. New York, [1957], p. 100, colorpl. missing.

    A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), p. 106.

    John Rewald. Gauguin Drawings. New York, 1958, p. 30, illustrates a charcoal drawing of the same year and title, dedicated to Count [Antoine] de La Rochefoucauld, editor of the periodical "Le coeur"; also illustrates two undated prints showing the Virgin and Child reversed.

    Alfred Frankfurter. "Midas on Parnassus." Art News Annual 28 (1959), p. 43, calls it one of Gauguin's "two or three acknowledged masterpieces"; gives sale prices.

    Claus Virch and Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr. in Gauguin: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Sculpture. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 1959, pp. 8, 19, 38–39, no. 28, colorpl. 28, suggest Italian primitive art, which Gauguin admired greatly, as the source for both the subject and composition; note that the still life of bananas and bowl appear in "The Repast" (Musée du Louvre, Paris).

    Gauguin. Paris, 1961, pp. 34, 87, 90, 122, 234, ill., comment that the influence of Japanese art should also be acknowledged.

    Henri Perruchot. La vie de Gauguin. 1961, pp. 271, 275, remarks that Léonce Bénédite, curator of the Luxembourg, refused Gauguin's offer of it as a gift.

    John Rewald. Post-Impressionism: From van Gogh to Gauguin. New York, 1962, pp. 502, 506, 509, ill., suggests that Gauguin's lover Tehura is represented in this picture.

    Georges Boudaille. Gauguin. New York, 1964, pp. 121, 179–80, 190, 194, 207, ill. in color.

    Georges Wildenstein. Gauguin. 1, French ed. [English ed. 1965]. Paris, 1964, p. 167, no. 428, ill.

    Bengt Danielsson. Gauguin in the South Seas. London, 1965, pp. 90–91, 142, 144–45, 190, states that the phrase "Ia Orana Maria" is Tahitian for "Ave Maria" and suggests that a visit to the Catholic church in Mataiea might have inspired the painting.

    Patrick O'Reilly. Catalogue du Musée Gauguin, Papeari, Tahiti. Paris, 1965, p. 61 under nos. 210–11.

    Paul C. Nicholls. Gauguin. New York, 1967, pp. 13, 25, no. 34, ill. in color.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX–XX Centuries." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 3, New York, 1967, pp. 170–74, ill, extensively catalogue the picture and link it to the artist's attempt to revive Christian themes; remark that the figures of the Virgin and Child appear again, with some variations, in a watercolor, a charcoal drawing, two monotypes, and zinc engravings.

    Margaretta M. Salinger. "Windows Open to Nature." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (Summer 1968), unpaginated, ill.

    Alexander O. Vietor. Letter. 1968, unpaginated, observes that "Ia Orana" also translates, in more general terms, as "good morning" or just a greeting.

    Bengt Danielsson. "The Exotic Sources of Gauguin's Art." Expedition 11 (Summer 1969), pp. 22–23, ill., suggests that the subject came from hearing the Tahitian version of the prayer "Ave Maria".

    Patrik Reuterswärd, et al. Gauguin i Söderhavet [Gauguin in the South Sea Islands]. Exh. cat., Etnografiska Museet and Nationalmuseum. Stockholm, 1970, pp. 47, 55.

    John Russell. Gauguin. Paris, 1970, pp. 36–37, no. 14, colorpl. 14, remarks that in Tahiti Gauguin wished to "re-do Puvis from Nature" with both a frieze-like construction and an abundance of strong color.

    Edith A. Standen in Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. New York, [1970], p. 89, ill. (color).

    Alan Bowness. Gauguin. New York, 1971, pp. 11–12, colorpl. 32, suggests that it was painted around Christmas in 1891.

    D. de Hoop Scheffer. "Ia Orana Maria (Ik groet U, Maria)." Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum (December 1972), pp. 171–76, ill.

    G. M. Sugana. L'opera completa di Gauguin. 2nd ed. [1st ed., 1969; Engl. ed, 1973]. Milan, 1972, p. 102, no. 263, ill.

    Linnea Stonesifer Dietrich. "A Study of Symbolism in the Tahitian Painting of Paul Gauguin: 1891–1893." PhD diss., University of Delaware, 1973, pp. 13, 67, 95–99, 103, 203–4, 207, credits Gauguin's interest in the Maori religion for his preoccupation with the origins and purposes of life, as demonstrated in this canvas; suggests that the blending of themes from Tahitian and Christian life here indicate his readiness to make analogies between the two cultures; calls it a transitional work, between the Breton years and the first Tahitian period, as well as his first attempt with familiar iconography in an unfamiliar setting.

    René Huyghe Lydie Huyghe in La Relève du réel: la peinture française au XIXe siècle: impressionnisme, symbolisme. Paris, 1974, pp. 350–51, 443, ill.

    Bengt Danielsson. Gauguin à Tahiti et aux îles Marquises. Papeete, 1975, p. 91.

    Pierre Leprohon. Paul Gauguin. Paris, 1975, pp. 210, 330, 338, 346.

    Richard S. Field Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Paul Gauguin: The Paintings of the First Voyage to Tahiti. New York, 1977, pp. 54, 57–74, 78, 301, 306, 315, 360, no. 17, analyzes in detail its composition, color, and symbolism, and through comparisons with earlier and later works; calls it a culminating work, as it unites several developments of 1891; notes that it appears, one of three size 50 canvases, as no. 24 on a list, dated April or May 1892, on 2r and 3r in the "Carnet de Tahiti" of Gauguin.

    Ziva Amishai-Maisels. "Gauguin's Early Tahitian Idols." Art Bulletin (June 1978), p. 331 n. 4.

    Vojtech Jirat-Wasiutynski Princeton University. Paul Gauguin in the Context of Symbolism. New York, 1978, pp. 187 n. 2, pp. 276, 358 n. 2.

    Maurice Sérullaz in Phaidon Encyclopedia of Impressionism. Oxford, 1978, p. 100.

    Mary Lynn Zink. "Gauguin's 'Poèmes barbares' and the Tahitian Chant of Creation." Art Journal 38 (Fall 1978), p. 21 n. 17, remarks that as this angel announces the divine presence of the Virgin and Child, so the angel of "Poèmes barbares" announces "Ta'aroa's divine presence as it is evoked in the Tahitian Chant of Creation".

    Wendy Slatkin. "Maternity and Sexuality in the 1890s." Woman's Art Journal 1 (Spring–Summer 1980), pp. 14, 18 n. 6, states that the women in the background are making motions of prayer, comparing their gestures to those in "The Offering" (1902, W 624, Bührle Collection, Zurich).

    Susan Wise. Paul Gauguin: His Life and his Paintings. Chicago, 1980, p. 13, colorpl. 15.

    Audrey Leigh Hill. "The Re-evaluation of Gauguin as an Artist: 1889 to 1980." Master's thesis, California State University, Long Beach, 1981, p. 103.

    Jürgen Harten in Bilder sind nicht verboten: Kunstwerke seit der Mitte des 19.Jahrhunderts mit ausgewählten Kultgeräten aus dem Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Exh. cat., Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. Düsseldorf, 1982, p. 236, ill. p. 167.

    Robert Goldwater. Paul Gauguin. concise ed. [lst ed. 1957]. New York, 1983, p. 74, ill. opp. p. 74 (color), remarks that Gauguin portrays this "Adoration of the Shepherds" as he supposed it must appear to the Tahitians, as he had portrayed the religious visions of the Breton peasants.

    Jehanne Teilhet-Fisk. Paradise Reviewed: An Interpretation of Gauguin's Polynesian Symbolism. no. 31, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1983, pp. 1, 48, 171, 185 n. 34, dates it December 1891.

    Mary Lynn Zink Vance. "Gauguin's Polynesian Pantheon as a Visual Language." PhD diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1983, pp. 29, 134, 348, 386, no. 5, pl. 5, remarks that by the time Gauguin arrived, the old religious myths and rituals had been eradicated and the native Tahitians were more familiar with biblical texts, prayers, and hymns, and that this painting alludes to their Christian beliefs; notes the use of "Christian" wings on the angel; draws a parallel between this presentation of the Christian deity and that of the Tahitian Taaroa.

    Robert Rosenblum in Robert Rosenblum and H. W. Janson. 19th-Century Art. New York, 1984, pp. 426, 453, colorpl. 77, suggests that the foreground fruits may evoke not only the gifts of the Magi, but also the Tahitian offerings made to the idols of the Maori religion, whose legends Gauguin was studying at that time.

    Kirk Varnedoe. "Primitivism" in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern. New York, 1984, vol. 1, pp. 178, 187, 189, 191, ill. (color and black and white).

    Ziva Amishai-Maisels Hebrew University. Gauguin's Religious Themes. New York, 1985, pp. 1, 56–57, 190, 288–98, 304–5, 307, 316, 325, 327 nn. 9, 11, 16, p. 328 nn. 19, 21–23, 26–27, p. 334 n. 78, p. 329 n. 37, pp. 358, 383, 485, fig. 126, notes that the pose of the left-hand worshipper is repeated in "Young Christian Girl" of 1894 (McRoberts collection, England) and that she wears a costume with Tahitian influences.

    Noa Noa: Gauguin's Tahiti. Oxford, 1985, pp. 86–87, reproduces an engraved reproduction of it that Gauguin partly retouched with watercolor and pasted onto page 125 of the Louvre manuscript of 1893/97 of "Noa Noa".

    Robert Goldwater. Primitivism in Modern Art. enlarged ed. [1st ed., 1938, revised ed. 1967]. Cambridge, Mass., 1986, pp. 75–76, ill.

    Michel Hoog. Paul Gauguin: Life and Work. New York, 1987, pp. 158–59, 163, 166, 198, 209, 306 n. 10, colorpl. 109, calls it a Tahitian version of Mother and Child or a Sacra Conversazione with donor figures; mentions the possible influence of Memling, whose work Gauguin saw at the Louvre and in Belgium.

    Maurice Malingue. La vie prodigieuse de Gauguin. Paris, 1987, pp. 112, 177, 183, 195.

    Yann le Pichon. Gauguin: Life, Art, Inspiration. New York, 1987, pp. 156–57, colorpl. 293, remarks on Gauguin's debt to Fra Angelico for the pale pink and blue angel, and to Botticelli's "Primavera" for both the expression on the Mary and the lush vegetation.

    Gauguin: A Retrospective. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1987, pp. 180, 185, 218, 225, 229, colorpl. 57, translate and reprint numerous letters by Gauguin, as well as exhibition reviews and articles that mention and describe this painting.

    Belinda Thomson. Gauguin. London, 1987, pp. 141, 145–47, 167, 171, 182, ill. (color and black and white).

    Gary Tinterow et al. "Modern Europe." The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 8, New York, 1987, pp. 5, 11, 76–78, colorpl. 54, remark on the numerous elements that form this "true modern synthesis," a term Gauguin himself used to explain his method.

    Françoise Cachin. Gauguin. Paris, 1988, pp. 155, 160–61, 164, 169, pl. 167, comments that it is Gauguin's last work with a Christian theme.

    Isabelle Cahn in Gauguin: La Bibliothèque des expositions. Paris, 1988, pp. 60–61, no. 33, ill. (color), proposes the subject is the Adoration of the Shepherds rather than the Annunciation, due to the presence of the Child.

    Frédérique de Gravelaine. Paul Gauguin: la vie, la technique, l'oeuvre peint. Lausanne, 1988, pp. 58, 104–5 (ill. in color).

    Colta Ives. "French Prints in the Era of Impressionism and Symbolism." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 46 (Summer 1988), p. 30, ill. in color, calls it a "Maori-Christian Adoration" and remarks on the reuse of the poses of the Virgin's attendants in a woodcut, "Nave Nave Fenua" of 1893–94 (MMA 36.6.5).

    Elizabeth Mongan, Eberhard W. Kornfeld, and Harold Joachim. Paul Gauguin: Catalogue raisonné of his Prints. Bern, 1988, p. 131, illustrates a zincograph of the same subject made in Paris during the winter of 1894–95.

    Charles F. Stuckey in The Art of Paul Gauguin. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1988, pp. 215, 220–21, 233, 236, 242–46, 291, 384, 410, no. 135, ill. in color, ponders its dating, despite being dated "91," due to possible repainting, suggesting that the original horizontal composition was painted over and became a vertical work; remarks on the reuse of certain clothes in other paintings; notes that it was painted on a size 50 canvas, used by Gauguin only on his first trip to Tahiti; identifies the elements of the still life; states that the theory that it was painted in response to the birth of Gauguin's illegitimate son in Paris was initiated by his son Pola and suggests instead that it celebrates his recovery from a nearly fatal illness or that he hoped to present it to the Catholic missionary church near Mataiea.

    Pascale Bertrand. "Exposition Gauguin." Beaux-arts no. 64 (January 1989), pp. 42–43, ill. (color).

    Françoise Cachin. Gauguin: "Ce malgré moi de sauvage". Paris, 1989, pp. 75–76, 94, ill. (color), remarks that Mataiea, the area of Tahiti where Gauguin lived, was exclusively Catholic and that the artist was presumably exposed to the first words of the "Hail Mary" —"Ia Orana Maria" — in Tahitian at their church, making the theme likely; remarks that the predominant colors are yellow, red, and blue.

    Pierre Daix. Paul Gauguin. [Paris], 1989, pp. 234–35, 239, 253, 257, 400 n. 21.

    Hans H. Hofstätter. "Christliche Thematik im Werk von Paul Gauguin." Das Münster 42 (1989), p. 304, ill.

    Günter Metken. Gauguin in Tahiti: Die erste Reise, Gemälde 1891–1893. Munich, 1989, unpaginated, colorpl. 8.

    John Rewald with the research assistance of Frances Weitzenhoffer. Cézanne and America: Dealers, Collectors, Artists and Critics, 1891–1921. The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, Princeton, 1989, pp. 325, 330.

    U. Stake. Gauguin. Exh. cat.Moscow, 1989, pp. 149, 167–71, 195, ill. (color, overall and detail).

    Lesley Stevenson. Gauguin. London, 1990, pp. 126–27, 155, ill. in color, calls "Te Tamari no Atua" of 1896 (W541; Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich), also painted during Gauguin's first trip to Tahiti, "the conceptual companion of our painting".

    Fereshteh Daftari Columbia University. The Influence of Persian Art on Gauguin, Matisse, and Kandinsky. New York, 1991, pp. 101–4, no. 49, ill., comments on the influence of Persian miniatures, noting that the Persian manuscript "History of the Prophets" (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris) was exhibited in 1878, during Gauguin's time in Paris.

    Michel Hoog. Gauguin: Actes du colloque Gauguin. Paris, 1991, p. 152.

    Pierre-Francis Schneeberger. Gauguin – Tahiti. Paris, 1991, pp. 24, 36, 40, 91, colorpl. 4.

    Gary Tinterow. "Miracle au Met." Connaissance des arts no. 472 (June 1991), p. 39.

    Paul Gauguin. Paul Gauguin, The Search for Paradise: Letters from Brittany and the South Seas. London, 1992, pp. 66–67, ill. (color).

    Fr. Daniel Nassaney O.M.I. Ia Orana Maria, a painting of Paul Gauguin. March 25, 1993.

    Ingo F. Walther. Paul Gauguin, 1848–1903: The Primitive Sophisticate. Cologne, 1993, pp. 38–39, 42, ill. in color.

    Caroline Boyle-Turner in Le cercle de Gauguin en Bretagne: L'impressionisme s'installe devant le motif et fait ce qu'il voit. . . . Exh. cat., Musée de Pont-Aven. [Pont-Aven], 1994, pp. 12, 14.

    Pierre-Yves Desaive, Jean-Patrick Duchesne, and Pierre Henrion in Gauguin: Les XX et la libre Esthétique. Exh. cat., Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporaine. Liège, 1994, p. 40, ill.

    Impressionist and Modern Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Part I. Sotheby's, London. June 28, 1994, p. 53, publishes the "only traced monotype rendition" of this painting's Virgin and Child.

    Paul Gauguin e l'avanguardia russa. Exh. cat.Florence, 1995, pp. 108, 177 n. 4, ill.

    Asya Kantor-Gukovskaya in Paul Gauguin, Mysterious Affinities. English ed. (Russian ed. 1995). Bournemouth, 1995, p. 61.

    Michael Kimmelman. "At the Met with Roy Lichtenstein: Disciple of Color and Line, Master of Irony." New York Times (March 31, 1995), p. C27.

    Albert Kostenevich. Hidden Treasures Revealed: Impressionist Masterpieces and Other Important French Paintings Preserved by the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Exh. cat.New York, 1995, p. 224.

    David Sweetman. Paul Gauguin: A Complete Life. London, 1995, pp. 304–6, 309, 315, 318, 361–62, 392, 436.

    Eckhard Hollmann. Paul Gauguin: Images from the South Seas. New York, 1996, pp. 34–35, 52, 62, ill. (color and black and white), suggests that the illustration of this painting that Gauguin included in "Noa Noa" was probably from the French newspaper "Le Mercure".

    John House in Der Traum vom Glück: Die Kunst des Historismus in Europa. Exh. cat.Vienna, 1996, pp. 150, 157, colorpl. 1.

    Anna Maria Damigella. Paul Gauguin, La vita e l'opera. Milan, 1997, pp. 25, 168, 170–71, ill. in color.

    Paul Gauguin, Tahiti. Exh. cat., Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Stuttgart, 1998, pp. 41, 82 n.45, p. 136.

    Isabelle Cahn, Albert Kostenewitsch, and Angela Schneider in Paul Gauguin: Das verlorene Paradies. Exh. cat., Museum Folkwang, Essen. Cologne, 1998, pp. 83, 85 n. 26, pp. 97, 243–44, ill.

    Naomi Margolis Maurer. The Pursuit of Spiritual Wisdom: The Thought and Art of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Madison, N.J., 1998, pp. 145–46, 166, 293, ill. (color).

    Belinda Thomson. "Exhibition review: Stuttgart. Paul Gauguin." Burlington Magazine 140 (May 1998), p. 350.

    Henri Dorra in Paul Gauguin, von der Bretagne nach Tahiti: Ein Aufbruch zur Moderne. Exh. cat., Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz. Tulln, 2000, pp. 138–39, ill.

    Rebecca A. Rabinow. "Modern Art Comes to the Metropolitan: The 1921 Exhibition of 'Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings'." Apollo 152 (October 2000), pp. 5, 7, 10, fig. 5 (color).

    Charlotte Hale in Colta Ives and Susan Alyson Stein. The Lure of the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2002, pp. 189, 193, 195, 232 n. 55, p. 233 n. 79, notes that the cartouche for the inscription was added over the still life at the bottom of the painting.

    Colta Ives in Colta Ives and Susan Alyson Stein. The Lure of the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2002, pp. 6, 8, 83–84, 221, no. 55, ill. (color) and fig. 5.

    Marjorie Shelley in Colta Ives and Susan Alyson Stein. The Lure of the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2002, p. 234 n. 38.

    Susan Alyson Stein in Colta Ives and Susan Alyson Stein. The Lure of the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2002, pp. 160, 165–66, 168, 170, 230, figs. 62, 64 (installation photos).

    Margaret Werth. The Joy of Life: The Idyllic in French Art, circa 1900. Berkeley, 2002, p. 45, fig. 20, dates it about 1891–92.

    Roger Benjamin. Orientalist Aesthetics: Art, Colonialism, and French North Africa, 1880–1930. Berkeley, 2003, pp. 92–93, fig. 40.

    Paule Laudon. Tahiti—Gauguin: Mythe et vérités. Paris, 2003, pp. 60, 102, ill. p. 59 (color), dates it 1891–92.

    Jean-Yves Tréhin. Gauguin, Tahiti et la photographie. [Punaauia, Tahiti], 2003, pp. 98–99, ill. (color), dates it 1891 or 1892.

    Isabelle Cahn in George T. M. Shackelford and Claire Frèches-Thory. Gauguin Tahiti. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Boston, 2004, pp. 105, 289, 359, no. 74, ill. p. 288 (color), dates it about 1891–92.

    Isabelle Cahn and Private collection (c/o the Art Institute of Chicago) in George T. M. Shackelford and Claire Frèches-Thory. Gauguin Tahiti. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Boston, 2004, p. 348.

    Claire Frèches-Thory in George T. M. Shackelford and Claire Frèches-Thory. Gauguin Tahiti. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Boston, 2004, pp. 25, 28, 32, 315 n. 93.

    George T. M. Shackelford in George T. M. Shackelford and Claire Frèches-Thory. Gauguin Tahiti. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Boston, 2004, p. 198.

    Barbara Stern Shapiro in George T. M. Shackelford and Claire Frèches-Thory. Gauguin Tahiti. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Boston, 2004, p. 131.

    Katharine Baetjer in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, p. 22, fig. 13 [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, p. 19, fig. 13].

    Richard R. Brettell and Stephen F. Eisenman. Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum. 1, New Haven, 2006, p. 485.

    Douglas W. Druick in Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, pp. 363–64 n. 3.

    Marco Di Capua in Paul Gauguin: Artist of Myth and Dream. Exh. cat., Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome. Milan, 2007, p. 87, fig. 7 (color).

    Susan Alyson Stein in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 164–65, 249–50, no. 153, ill. (overall and detail, color and black and white).

    Susan Alyson Stein in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 144–45, 213–15, no. 106, ill. (overall and detail, color and black and white).

    Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, p. xix.

    Gary Tinterow in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, p. 11.

    Belinda Thomson in Gauguin: Maker of Myth. Exh. cat., Tate Modern. London, 2010, p. 135, fig. 61 (color).



  • Notes

    Several drawings and prints of the figure of the mother with the child on her shoulder exist. A related charcoal drawing is in the MMA (61.145.2). Gauguin pasted a black-and-white reproduction of the picture into the Louvre "Noa Noa" manuscript and colored it with watercolor.

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