The work is dated 1892-1894 and is kept at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA. "Siesta" is a Spanish term that indicates afternoon rest after lunch. In this work Gauguin depicts four women with an olive complexion under a wooden porch, in a moment of relaxation.
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The work is dated 1892-1894 and is kept at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA. "Siesta" is a Spanish term that indicates afternoon rest after lunch. In this work Gauguin depicts four women with an olive complexion under a wooden porch, in a moment of relaxation. In the foreground a girl with long black hair is portrayed from behind; on her head she wears a straw hat wrapped in a blue polka dot ribbon; a blue pareo with white inserts and a blue blouse with floral motifs complete her image. At her side there is a wicker basket, which probably contains food. In front of her there is a woman in an orange dress whose hair are gathered who is lying prone and observes the view in front of her. Nearby there are two other female figures: the woman wrapped in a purple dress is busy ironing a white cloth, the other dressed in a pink shirt and a blue and white pareo has a flower in her hair and is observing her. Further on, sitting on a lawn, there is a man seen from behind and legs crossed, he seems to be totally excluded from the scenery. Before getting to the final version of this work, Gauguin makes several changes: for example, the basket at the right bottom has taken the place of a dog, the woman's skirt in the foreground was bright red and the woman sitting on the edge of the porch on the left, was depicted further on the left. In the canvases painted during his "Tahitian period", women increasingly take on a key role: the woman, as a generator of life and bearer of positive values in the opinion of Gauguin, is the priestess of a natural religion that allows people to open up the world of matter and raise it up to the world of the spirit.