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

Woman and Two Children

1901
Oil on canvas, 97 x 74 cm
Art Institute, Chicago

In 1901, when he painted this work, Gauguin finally left Tahiti to go to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. On his arrival, he began building his 'House of Pleasure' in the town of Atuona, and his output decreased significantly at this time. Much of what he produced was reworkings of old themes, and Woman and Two Children resuscitates the motif of the seated female figure that Gauguin had used in Paris when he painted Annah the Javanese, and to which he was to return the following year in Woman with a Fan. In both these works the figures are strangely isolated in space, staring impassively forward with the static quality and crisply delineated shadows that suggest a photographic source.




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