Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Tahitian Women Bathing

Artist:
Paul Gauguin (French, Paris 1848–1903 Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands)
Date:
1892
Medium:
Oil on paper, laid down on canvas
Dimensions:
43 3/4 x 35 1/8 in
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.179
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 962
Dreaming of a paradise where he could “listen to the silence of beautiful tropical nights,” Gauguin set off for Tahiti in June 1891. While at first Tahitian Women Bathing resembles the artist’s Polynesian paintings, it was not painted in oil on canvas, but rather in oil on paper, and was begun as a sheet of working drawings. The large sheet was later mounted on canvas, retouched, and varnished, presumably to ready the work for sale. The unusual evolution of this picture from a sheet of working drawings provides insight into the artist’s methodology as a draftsman and painter, and also accounts for its compositional disharmony.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): P.Gauguin / .
Ambroise Vollard, Paris; Alphonse Kann, Saint-Germain-en-Laye; Galerie Barbazanges, Paris; M. Oliver, Esq., London; Bignou Gallery, New York, by 1935; Josiah Marvel, Jr., Philadelphia; acquired through M. Knoedler & Co., New York, by Robert Lehman, New York, May 1950.
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