The painting is kept at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The work was painted by Gauguin in Paris in 1894, after returning from a trip to...
Paul Gauguin (his name is often misspelled Gaugin, Gaugain or even Goghen), a well-known French painter born in 1848, is associated with several currents: Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Symbolist and Expressionist, although in reality he has never joined any of them at all.
Gauguin's life was linked to travel and adventure: after a year of life while moving to Peru, he lost his father and spent his childhood in Lima, until he returned to France with his mother in 1855.
At the age of seventeen he embarked as a sailor on a merchant ship to Brazil, but the painter found stability only when he left the navy, moving then to Paris where in 1873 he married the Danish Mette Sophie Gad, from whom he had five children. In these years he began to approach art, immediately as a self-taught and later, through friendship with Camille Pissarro, he approached the Impressionists. In 1883, who had lost his job, the artist travelled to France and England, then embarked for Panama, to work on the construction of the canal and, at the end, left for Martinique. In 1888 the dealer Theo Van Gogh, in exchange for a monthly production of paintings, offered him a salary and the opportunity to live with his brother Vincent in Provence.
However, the cohabitation between Gauguin and Van Gogh leads to constant quarrels between the two artists, who reach the point where Vincent, in a moment of discouragement, cuts himself part of his ear with a razor (some say it was Paul himself who inflicted the wound). Gauguin did not love diplomacy and, disappointed by the society unable to enhance his art, in 1891 he decided to leave for Tahiti, but two years later, burdened by debt and without savings, he was forced to return home leaving a little more than thirteen year old companion and a son of about a month. He returned to Europe and left his family again in 1893, when he organized a sale of his works with the aim of embarking with the proceeds to Polynesia, on the island of Hiva Oa... But not even here was he able to put an end to his restlessness, which prevented him from forging ties with places and people and which only calmed down with the eyes of the exotic women he portrayed.
Gauguin, blood type, restless and often sad, died of syphilis in 1903, at the age of 56. His style has been combined with the cloisonnisme, for the sharp contours of his figures, the compact colors and the absence of chiaroscuro. Observing one of his works, what remains impressed are the exotic landscapes and his Tahitian women, immersed in an atmosphere of serenity, that same serenity that he was unable to find in life.