Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Two Women

Artist:
Paul Gauguin (French, Paris 1848–1903 Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands )
Date:
1901 or 1902
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
29 x 36 1/4 in. (73.7 x 92.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1997, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002
Accession Number:
1997.391.3
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 823
Gauguin based this formidable composition on a photograph of two women seated side by side on the stoop of a house. He painted it just before or after his 1901 departure from Tahiti for the Marquesas Islands.
[Ambroise Vollard, Paris, stock no. 3331; by 1903–at least 1910/12]; Wilhelm Hansen, Copenhagen (1918–23; sold through Galerie Barbazanges, Paris, for 50,000 Fr to Matsukata); [baron] Kojiro Matsukata, Kobe (from 1923; possibly sold through an intermediary or at auction to Wada); Kyuzaemon Wada, Kobe and Osaka (bought between 1927 and 1940; until 1955; sold April 6 through Fujikawa Galleries to Wildenstein); [Wildenstein, New York, 1955; sold April 25 to Annenberg]; Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (1955–97; jointly with MMA, 1997–his d. 2002)
Paris. Galerie Vollard. "Exposition Paul Gauguin," November 4–28, 1903, no. 49 (as "Portraits de femmes," probably this picture).

Paris. Galerie Vollard. "Works by Paul Gauguin," late June–July 12, 1905, no catalogue.

Munich. Moderne Galerie Thannhauser. "Paul Gauguin, 1848–1903," Summer 1910, no catalogue?

Dresden. Galerie Ernst Arnold. "Paul Gauguin, 1848–1903," September 7–October 7, 1910, no. 19 or 15 (as "Zwei Frauen sitzend" or "Zwei Frauen").

St. Petersburg. Institut Français. "Exposition centennale de l'art français," January 28–?, 1912, no. 116 (as "La mère et la fille. Tahiti").

Geneva. Musée d'Art et d'Histoire. "Exposition d'art français," May 15–June 16, 1918, no. 84 (as "Tahitiennes," probably this picture or MMA 1993.400.3) [see Fonsmark 2002].

Prague. Spolku Výtvarných Umelcu. "Výstava Francouzského Umení XIX. a XX. Století," May–June 1923, no. 185 (as "Matka s dcerou z Tahiti," lent by Kojiro Matsukaty [sic]).

San Francisco. California Palace of the Legion of Honor. "Inaugural Exposition of French Art in the California Palace of the Legion of Honor," 1924–25, no. 27 (as "Mother and Daughter," lent by a private collection).

Osaka. Fujikawa Galleries. "Exhibition of Occidental Renowned Paintings," November 3–29, 1953, no. 14.

New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Loan Exhibition: Gauguin," April 5–May 5, 1956, no. 50 (as "Mother and Daughter," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg).

Art Institute of Chicago. "Gauguin: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Sculpture," February 12–March 29, 1959, no. 65 (as "Mother and Daughter," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg, Wynnewood, Pa.).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gauguin: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Sculpture," April 23–May 31, 1959, no. 65.

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Summer Loan Collections," July 4–September 2, 1963, no catalogue.

London. Tate Gallery. "The Annenberg Collection," September 2–October 8, 1969, no. 18 (as "Mother and Daughter").

Washington. National Gallery of Art. "The Art of Paul Gauguin," May 1–July 31, 1988, no. 231 (as "Portraits of Women," lent by Walter H. Annenberg).

Art Institute of Chicago. "The Art of Paul Gauguin," September 17–December 11, 1988, no. 231.

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 21–September 17, 1989, unnumbered cat. (as Portrait of Women [Mother and Daughter]).

Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lure of the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections," June 18–October 20, 2002, no. 110.

Zamiraïlo. "Gauguin." Mir Iskousstva — Le Monde Artiste Ed. Serge Diaghilev. 11 (1904), ill. p. 222.

Rudolf Meyer-Riefstahl. "Paul Gauguin." Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration 27 (October 1910–March 1911), ill. p. 113, as "Sitzende Frauen".

Karl Madsen. Wilhelm Hansens Samling: Malerier, Akvareller, Pasteller, Tegninger af Franske Kunstnere. Copenhagen, 1918, p. 46, no. 132, as "To Tahitierinder".

Charles Morice. Paul Gauguin. first ed. [new ed. 1920]. Paris, 1919, ill. between pp. 112–13, as "Tahitiennes".

Gustave Kahn. "Paul Gauguin." L'Art et les artistes 12 (October 1925–February 1926), p. 61 [possibly this picture], as "Deux sœurs".

A. Alexandre. Paul Gauguin, sa vie et le sens de son oeuvre. Paris, 1930, ill. p. 105, as "Créoles (La Martinique)"; erroneously lists it in the Fayet collection [see Ref. Bodelsen 1966].

Lee van Dovski. Paul Gauguin, Paintings. Basel, 1947, unpaginated, no. 20, ill., as "Youth and Old Age".

Herbert Read. "Gauguin: Return to Symbolism." Art News Annual 25 (November 1955), pp. 139–41, ill. (color).

Claus Virch and Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr. in Gauguin: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Sculpture. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 1959, p. 56, no. 65, call it "Mother and Daughter" and date it about 1900; cite a photograph owned and possibly taken by Gauguin (collection A. Joly-Ségalen, Paris), which seems to have been the source for this painting; erroneously list Fayet and a German private collection in the provenance [see Ref. Bodelsen 1966].

John Richardson. "Gauguin at Chicago and New York." Burlington Magazine 101 (May 1959), p. 191, calls it "unpleasing" and notes that it was never owned by Gustave Fayet [see Refs. Alexandre 1930 and Bodelsen 1966].

Georges Wildenstein. Gauguin. Vol. 1, French ed. [English ed. 1965]. Paris, 1964, pp. 259–60, no. 610, ill., calls it "Mère et fille" and dates it 1902; repeats misinformation regarding provenance [see Ref. Virch and Wagstaff 1959].

Bengt Danielsson. Gauguin in the South Seas. London, 1965, p. 209, fig. 37, reproduces the photograph that served as the basis for this composition and suggests that it was either taken by a friend of Gauguin or bought by the artist in Papeete.

Patrick O'Reilly. Catalogue du Musée Gauguin, Papeari, Tahiti. Paris, 1965, p. 63, under no. 219, dates the photograph upon which it is based about 1897 and identifies the photographer as Lemasson.

Paul Gauguin with notes by Jean Loize. Noa Noa. 1966, pp. 122–23, 192–93, ill. between pp. 24 and 25, as "Mère et fille" or "Tahitiennes".

Merete Bodelsen. "The Gauguin Catalogue (Wildenstein-Cogniat)." Burlington Magazine 108 (January 1966), p. 38, notes that the Fayet archives have no record of this painting having been owned by Gustave Fayet [see Ref. Alexandre 1930].

Françoise Cachin. Gauguin. Paris, 1968, pp. 313–14, fig. 180, dates it 1902 and erroneously locates it in the collection of Oscar Homolka, New York; observes the influence of the Parthenon frieze figures as well as Puvis de Chavannes.

M. Roy Fisher. The Annenberg Collection. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1969, unpaginated, no. 18, ill. (color), calls it "Mother and Daughter" and dates it 1900.

G. M. Sugana. L'opera completa di Gauguin. 2nd ed. [1st ed., 1969; Engl. ed, 1973]. Milan, 1972, pp. 112–13, no. 434, ill.

Daniel Wildenstein and Raymond Cogniat. Paul Gauguin. Milan, 1972, pp. 70–71, ill. (color).

Yann le Pichon. Gauguin: Life, Art, Inspiration. New York, 1987, p. 242, fig. 468 (color).

Richard Brettell in The Art of Paul Gauguin. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1988, pp. 426–27, no. 231, ill. (color), calls it "Portraits of Women" and dates it 1899–1900, noting that its lack of signature and date is unusual in Gauguin's late work; states that the younger woman has been identified by her granddaughter as Teahu A. Raatairi and the older woman as Teahu's aunt by marriage; suggests that the photograph upon which the painting was based was found in Gauguin's studio after his death and ascribes it to one of Gauguin's photographer friends, either Jules Agostini or Henri Lemasson; quotes a passage from "Noa Noa" [Ref. Gauguin 1966] describing two generations of women at a wedding banquet which may have inspired or been inspired by this painting.

Françoise Cachin. Gauguin. Paris, 1988, p. 248, pl. 269.

Frédérique de Gravelaine. Paul Gauguin: la vie, la technique, l'oeuvre peint. Lausanne, 1988, p. 72.

Chefs-d'Oeuvre Français. Ed. Tokuzo Mizushima. Exh. cat., Fujikawa Galleries. Tokyo, 1988, unpaginated, ill., as "Mére [sic] et Fille"; dates it 1902.

Pierre Daix. Paul Gauguin. [Paris], 1989, pp. 316–17.

The Old Matsukata Collection: Occidental Art. Exh. cat., Kobe City Museum. Kobe, 1990, p. 196, no. 711, ill.

Joseph J. Rishel in Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Colin B. Bailey, Joseph J. Rishel, and Mark Rosenthal. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. 98–99, 193–94, ill.(color and black and white), calls it "Portrait of Women (Mother and Daughter)" and argues for a late date based on the fluidity of handling and color; discusses Gauguin's transformation of the photographic image into something "grand and heroic".

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

Marianne Wirenfeldt Asmussen. Wilhelm Hansen's Original French Collection at Ordrupgaard. Copenhagen, 1993, pp. 50, 77 n. 30, pp. 374–75, no. 132, ill. pp. 22–23 (installation photos) and 375.

Yoko Fukumitsu et al. in Captivated by Western Art: Fifteen Japanese Collectors, 1890–1940. Exh. cat., Bridgestone Museum of Art. Tokyo, 1997, pp. 55, 63–64, ill.

Susan Alyson Stein in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1997–1998." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 56 (Fall 1998), pp. 5, 51, ill. (color), notes that, although the painting bears an intriguing relationship to a passage on generational relationships in Gauguin's "Noa Noa" of 1893–94, it is considered to be a late work, made shortly before its first exhibition at the Galerie Vollard in 1903.

Ira Berkow. "Jewels in the Desert." Art News 97 (May 1998), ill. p. 147 (color, installation photo).

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, p. 224, no. 110, ill. p. 143 (color).

Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark in The Age of Impressionism: European Paintings from Ordrupgaard Copenhagen. Ed. Thomas Lederballe and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Copenhagen, 2002, p. 20.

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. 171, 173.

Jean-Yves Tréhin. Gauguin, Tahiti et la photographie. Ed. Christian Gleizal. [Punaauia, Tahiti], 2003, p. 160, ill. (color), dates it 1899–1900; states that the photograph which inspired this painting was taken in 1897 by Henri Lemasson in Mataeia.

Paule Laudon. Tahiti—Gauguin: Mythe et vérités. Paris, 2003, p. 122, dates it 1901; gives the older woman's name as Teahu A. Raatairi and the younger woman's as Tevahinenunaatuaiteruru; states that both women were Protestants, citing Josette Manjard, the great granddaughter of the younger woman, as her source.

Jean-Yves Tréhin. Tahiti: L'Éden à l'épreuve de la photographie. [Paris], 2003, p. 132.

Albert Kostenevich in Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Ed. Rebecca A. Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, pp. 254, 256 n. 74 [French ed., "De Cézanne à Picasso: Chefs-d'oeuvre de la galerie Vollard," Paris, 2007, pp. 269, 271 n. 74], notes that Vollard sent this picture to the 1912 exhibition "One Hundred Years of French Art" in St. Petersburg, offering it unsuccessfully for sale for 16,000 Fr.

Joseph J. Rishel in Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein and Asher Ethan Miller. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 186–89, no. 36, ill. (color).

Paloma Alarcó et al. Gauguin y el viaje a lo exótico. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. [Madrid], 2012, p. 158, fig. 68 (color).



This composition derives from a photograph taken in 1897 by Henri Lemasson in Mataeia, Tahiti (Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer, Aix-en-Provence). Brettell (1988) identifies the younger woman as Teahu A Raatairi and the older woman as Teahu's aunt by marriage, although Laudon (2003) asserts that the older woman is Teahu.
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