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Tahitian Woman with a Flower - Famous Gauguin's Painting


Tahitian Woman with a Flower

Paul Gauguin
Oil on canvas
705 x 46.5 cm
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

In his notes, Gauguin recounted his impressions of Tahiti and its indigenous people upon his arrival in 1891. He described this portrait as follows: "She is not beautiful - at least not by European standards - but she is beautiful." Disillusioned with European society and Western art, Gauguin left France and sought new ideals in the Pacific islands, and the pristine landscape of Tahiti immediately attracted his attention. Although French colonialism had already permeated the region, the painter's passion for the place ran deeper than any other artist.

This work was based on a local Tahitian woman, with a background of bright yellow and vivid red, separated by a thin green line and positioned near the figure's neck, as if it were the back of a chair to match the seated position. The figure's clothing is mainly blue, while the figure's skin tone is bronze brown. The collision of four color blocks - red, yellow, blue and brown - forms the basic and harmonious combination of the painting. The decorative accents of flowers and green-leaved plants in the background are very characteristic of Japanese prints, most likely due to the influence of his good friend Van Gogh, and they echo the flowers held in the figures' hands.

The flowers in the background are almost the same color as the background, with only the green outline helping the viewer distinguish the shape of the flowers, while the flowers in the figure's hands are brownish, creating a consistent effect with the figure's skin tone.

Although the figure in the painting is not dressed in the local Tahitian costume, and her hairstyle is more towards the braided hair of the civilized European society, and even the painting form used by the artist is the traditional portrait style of the Renaissance, the localized features she has not only blend perfectly with these dresses and styles, but also avoid the appearance of Europeanized features. Her complexion, face and expression are extremely original and will not be changed by the external dress.

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