Gauguin made this powerful drawing during his second trip to Tahiti. Among the most impressive of Gauguin’s surviving drawings, it is likely a preparatory study for the figure on the left in his 1899 painting Two Tahitian Women (49.58.1). The drawing has a strong sculptural effect due to both the masklike appearance of the blank eye sockets and the artist’s use of the stumping technique, in which he smudged the charcoal contour lines to model the head.
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Title:Tahitian Faces (Frontal View and Profiles)
Artist:Paul Gauguin (French, Paris 1848–1903 Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands)
Medium:Charcoal on laid paper
Dimensions:Sheet: 16 1/8 x 12 1/4 in. (41 x 31.1 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1996
Ambroise Vollard (French); Daniel de Monfried (French); Galerie Beyeler, Basel (Swiss); Private Collection, purchased from Galerie Beyeler in 1960; sale, Sotheby's, London, 3 December 1991, lot 19; Sotheby's, New York, November 8, 1994, lot 13; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 12 November 1996, sale 6913, lot 7; Vendor: Sotheby's, New York , 12 Nov 1996, sale 6913, lot 7
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 6–April 13, 1997.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lure of the Exotic: Gauguin in New York Collections," June 18–October 20, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," October 24, 2008–February 1, 2009.
Tate Modern. "Paul Gauguin: Maker of Myth," September 30, 2010–January 16, 2011.
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Paul Gauguin: Maker of Myth," February 27, 2011–June 5, 2011.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Gauguin: Metamorphoses," March 8, 2014–June 8, 2014.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints," December 9, 2014–March 16, 2015.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Anniversary Highlights," October 8, 2020–January 18, 2021.
Georges Boudaille Gauguin. Paris, 1964, p. 140, 170, ill.
Richard Brettell, Françoise Cachin, Claire Frèches-Thory, Charles F. Stuckey, Peter Zegers, Isabelle Cahn, Gloria Groom, Marla Prather The Art of Paul Gauguin. Ex. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington, May 1-July 31, 1988; Art Institute of Chicago, Sept. 17-Dec. 11, 1988; Grand Palais, Paris, Jan. 10-Apr. 20, 1989. Washington, D.C., 1988, p. 425, ill.
Impressionist and Modern Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Part I. [Sale catalogue]. Sotheby's, London, December 3, 1991, cat. no. 19, ill.
Impressionist and Modern Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Part I. [Sale catalogue]. Sotheby's, London, November 8, 1994, cat. no. 13, ill.
Impressionist and Modern Art, Part I. [Sale catalogue]. Sotheby's, New York, New York, November 12, 1996, cat. no. 7, ill.
George R. Goldner, Colta Ives, Carolyn Logan, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996-1997." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.s., vol. 55, no. 2, Autumn 1997, fig. no. cover and p. 58, p. 58, ill.
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. 104, fig. no. Frontispiece, pp. 130, 200, 202, 203, 205-6, 224, ill.
Charles F. Stuckey "Gauguin, New York." Burlington Magazine. vol. 144, no. 1194, September, 2002, fig. no. 77, 582, ill.
Gauguin: Maker of Myth. Exh. cat., Tate Modern, London, September 30-January 16, 2011, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., February 27-June 5, 2011. Belinda Thomson, and Tamar Garb, Princeton, NJ, 2010, cat. no. 144, pp. 214, 243.
Starr Figura, Elizabeth C. Childs, Hal Foster, Erika Mosier Gauguin: Metamorphoses. Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 2014, pl. 163, pp. 196, 202, 229, 245, ill.
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