(b. 1848, Paris, d. 1903, Atuona, Hiva Oa, French Polynesia)

Self-Portrait with Palette

Oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm
Private collection

In this self-portrait, the artist has returned to the subject of Gauguin at his Easel, which had been painted in 1885 during his stay in Copenhagen. In both, the artist is shown intent on his craft, palette in hand, with a sideways glance. In tenor, however, the later work demonstrates the self-confidence of an artist who had just held a one-man exhibition in a prime Parisian gallery, which in critical terms he had deemed a success; who had the support of the most vanguard Parisian writers; and who had begun to write Noa Noa which he intended as a work to 'facilitate the understanding' of his most recent Tahitian paintings.

The work is dedicated to the poet Charles Morice (1860-1919), who collaborated with Gauguin on the writing of Noa Noa in 1893-95, which would mean that the work dates from his period in Paris, although it is taken directly from a photograph of 1888.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.