Gauguin Revisited


Aha oe feii? (What! Are You Jealous?) 1892, oil on coarse canvas

The Tate Modern gallery in London has launched a major exhibition of Paul Gauguin’s works, and has released a promotional video , called The Art and Letters of Gauguin, which can be viewed by clicking on the link. Like Van Gogh, Gauguin thought and wrote about his work at length. A collection of his writing is contained in The Writings of a Savage. His concern with philosophical questions can be judged from the following extract:

Given this ever present riddle: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? What is our ideal, natural, rational destiny? And under what conditions can it be accomplished? or what is the law, what are the rules for accomplising it in its individual and humanitarian meaning?

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? 1897-1898

We do not know whether Gauguin ever found a satisfactory answer, but we must look at his paintings for illumination of these questions. The video below presents a selection of his works painted over the 27 years of his artistic life.