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

Sunflowers in a Chair

Oil on canvas, 72 x 91 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Like Baudelaire, Gauguin quickly became dependent in his own "artificial paradise." His imagination demanded a constant supply of new motifs, and in 1901 he left Tahiti for the island of St. Dominique. There he produced this still-life, which incorporates into the Polynesian world French sunflowers that Gauguin had "picked up" from van Gogh while working together in Arles in 1888. The past looks into the present, with the eyes of a flower, and the present into the past, with the eyes of the female islander.

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