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Te Aa No Areois

Te Aa No Areois :: Paul Gauguin, description of a picture - Nu in art and painting
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1892,
canvas, oil
Museum of Modern Art, USA


In the spring 1891, the graceful and convenient liner "Ocean" crosses the Indian Ocean connected with the French colonies in New Caledonia.

These vibrant passengers, divided into three classes under the deck, from rich, important functionaries and land owners, to young people of humble origins who are going to the colonies, looking for the future which old France isn't able to guarantee. In other words, the transatlantic vessel was a true zoological place, a circus with many actors where nobody will notice a middle-aged person with a great moustache and an empty stare who has spent many hours, sitting on the deck, staring at the horizon. However, the anonymous character occupying a modest third-class cabin wasn't a nowhere man. He was an admired painter by the name of Paul Gauguin who was aiming for the Island of Tahiti, looking for inspiration and return to an exotic primitive which could help him to find a way to purify his Art. In his own words, "The West is rotten (...) and anyone like Hercules can find new forces, going to far places and coming back one or two years later after that," However, Gauguin's travel wasn't the traveller's Odyssey. Actually, he has ordered the ambassador to welcome him personally in Papeete's harbor as the official guest of the French Government. Besides, Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, wasn't the tropical paradise that it was before, the exotic and mysterious town found by great travelers as the legendary captain Cook. Colonists - civilians and military, and, of course, priests - have corrupted the city with all customs of the colonial capital disasters. Nevertheless, the important part of the primitive culture, looked for by Gauguin, was still in towns more distant from the capital.



Submitted by: Nika

Published: 25.09.2017



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