Bathers in Brittany, from the Volpini Suite: Dessins lithographiques
Paul Gauguin (French, Paris 1848–1903 Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands)
Zincograph on chrome yellow wove paper; first edition
9 3/16 x 7 7/8 in. (23.3 x 20.0 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1922
Not on view
On the fairgrounds of the Paris World's Fair of 1889, at Volpini's Café des Arts, Gauguin exhibited a brand new suite of ten zincographs printed on bright yellow paper. Known as the "Volpini Suite," the prints served as a pictorial souvenir of Gauguin's recent travels in Brittany, Martinique, and Arles.
This print was likely inspired by the artist's sojourn in Le Pouldu, a small fishing village near Pont-Aven where he stayed in 1889-90, and shows a nude female figure tentatively approaching the sea. Her rustic clogs (the traditional footwear of Brittany) are discarded on the beach at lower left. The abstract, flowing forms that surround her evoke the wild and rocky shoreline of Brittany's coast. A second bather can be seen in the upper left of the composition, swimming in the waves.
Signature: signed in plate, lower left: P Gauguin
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gauguin: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Sculpture, Chicago and New York, 1959," April 23, 1959–May 31, 1959.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Prints by Paul Gauguin," February 23, 1971–April 18, 1971.
Musée d'Orsay. "Theo van Gogh, 1857-1891: Art Dealer, Collector, and Brother of Vincent," September 27, 1999–January 9, 2000.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lure of the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections," June 18, 2002–October 20, 2002.
Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. "Francisco Durrio," June 3, 2013–September 15, 2013.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Gauguin: Metamorphoses," March 8, 2014–June 8, 2014.
Guérin 3; Mongan/Kornfeld 4.A.b
Elizabeth Mongan, Eberhardt W. Kornfeld, Harold Joachim Paul Gauguin: Catalogue Raisonné of His Prints. Bern, Switzerland, 1988.
Colta Ives, Susan Alyson Stein, Charlotte Hale, Marjorie Shelley The Lure of the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections. Ex. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Press, New York, 2002, cat. no. 45, pp. 71, 221, ill.