Today’s Muse: Paul Gauguin

Living in Maine, I can only dream of the tropical paradise depicted in Gauguin’s infamous paintings of French Polynesia. Not saying that summertime in Maine (now that it’s finally here) isn’t wonderful, I’d gladly trade the briny smell of sea salt and fish guts wafting off the working waterfront for the sweet sent of ripe mangoes, hibiscus, and jasmine. Well, since a vacation to Tahiti is not on my calendar just yet, I’ll have to live vicariously through Gauguin and perhaps bring a little of the islands to Maine.
Paul Gauguin, 'Sacred Spring: Sweet Dreams (Nave nave moe)', 1894
Paul Gauguin, ‘Sacred Spring: Sweet Dreams (Nave nave moe)’, 1894

Paul Gauguin, a leading artist in Post-Impressionsit movement, is celebrated for his eccentric use of color and experimental synthesist style (a combination of abstract and representational forms). Though he painted many different subject throughout his career, I would say his paintings of French Polynesia are the most adored. Gauguin first sailed to the Polynesian islands in 1891 to escape the banal superficiality of European civilization and find truth in life.

“It was Europe, the Europe which I had thought to shake off — and that under the aggravating circumstances of colonial snobbism, and the imitation, grotesque even to the point of caricature, of our customs, fashions, vices, and absurdities of civilization.” -Paul Gauguin

Gauguin spent time between his beloved islands and Europe until 1895 when he made Polynesia his permanent home. His paintings, lush with color and life, depict the passion he had for the islanders, their lifestyle, their philosophy, their being. Though truly the best way to be inspired and influenced by the Polynesian natives is to visit and spend time with them like Gauguin, learning and absorbing their culture. On a (superficial level) you can channel their aesthetic nature, as captured on canvas by Gauguin, with your summer wardrobe. Long and breezy skirts adorned with large floral prints, sensual off the shoulder blouses and accessories inspired by the flora of the tropics could, perhaps, transport you mentally to your own exotic paradise.

Gauguin's Tahitian Paradise #2

 

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3 comments on “Today’s Muse: Paul Gauguin

    • Thank you so much! I’m really glad you enjoyed reading my blog. Currently I am out of school (I was a painting major and art history minor) but curatorial/museum studies is something that I have been considering going back to school for eventually. Nothing is certain at this point, but I know whatever I end up doing it will definitely be art related. Thanks again for your lovely comment and keep reading!

      -Lydia

  1. […] Dwelling in Maine, I can solely dream of the tropical paradise depicted in Gauguin’s notorious work of French Polynesia. Not saying that summertime in Maine (now that it’s lastly right here) isn’t fantastic, I’d gladly commerce the briny odor of sea salt and fish guts wafting off the working waterfront for the candy despatched of ripe […] Base from: The White Cube Diaries […]

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