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Parau Api Aka What News by Paul Gauguin - Reproduction Oil Painting
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Parau Api Aka What News

Upon his arrival in Tahiti, Paul Gauguin thought he had found the uncivilized paradise he had longed for much of his artistic career, a search which had led him to leave Europe, disheartened by what he perceived as a staleness in the civilized art community, which he felt was caused by an exaggerated preoccupation with money and wealth. From that first creative impetus came most of the famous works in the artist’s early career, many of which, if put side by side, seem to have been studied for each other, with many of the same elements, characters and compositions repeating often.

This oil on canvas, also called Two Women of Tahiti, is a good example of that creative impetus, as it was finished in 1982, a mere year after Gauguin’s arrival in the Polynesian islands. A mere year before, just after his arrival, Gauguin had produced a painting of uncanny similarity, named Two Women on the Beach, which is arguably somehow more famous. While this piece is in possession of the Galerie Neue Meister, which is part of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen collection of Dresden, Germany, while its twin is in possession of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

The similarities between the paintings could lead one to confuse them, and they are often confused by lay critics, who tend to misname one or the other. The subject matter, of two Tahitian women sitting together, is the same, as are the expressions on their faces, which speak of a combination of disinterest and coyness, purposefully avoiding the gaze of the painter. The woman on the left-hand side is the same on both paintings, wearing a red skirt decorated with white flowers, her face turned away from the observer, her eyes closed, almost as if she did not want to be part of this.

The woman on the right-hand side is the main difference between the paintings, for a while on the first work she wears sensible Christian mission clothes, here she wears a more ethnically appropriate floral sarong hanging from her left shoulder. She does not appear to be a willing participant of the painting neither, and although she is turned towards the observer, her eyes avoid those of the artist, as she appears to be looking away at nothing specific. The main question raised here is, then, about what led Gauguin to make that change, and how that reflects his views of the Tahitian people.

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Parau Api Aka What News Paul Gauguin

Item Number: 8261254 show sizes in cm
Painting Price: $369.99
Total Price: $369.99
you SAVE 55% Compared to Local Galleries $665.98
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