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Parau na te Varua ino (Words of the Devil), 1892

 
 
 
 
 
Details     Description
   
Artist Gauguin, Eugène Henri Paul

The words “mysterious” and “enigmatic” often appear in Gauguin’s letters and notes; indeed these were qualities which struck him, the European, so particularly among the South Sea people. And frequently he tried to capture in his works this element of an impenetrable world hidden behind he friendliness, the unconcern, even the apparent openness of he natives.
“She is very clever in her naïveté, the Tahitian Eve,” Gauguin once wrote. “Like Eve’s, her body is still that of an animal, but the mind has developed subtlety, love impressed he ironical smile upon her lips, and naively she searches in her memory for the why of present times. Enigmatically she looks at you.”
That Gauguin succeeded on capturing this enigmatic character is illustrated by the exclamation of Mallarme before one of these Tahitian paintings: “It is amazing that one can put so much mystery in so much Brilliance.”

 
Date

1892

 
Institution National Gallery of Art, Washington
   
Medium Oil on canvas
 
Dimensions 91.7 x 68.5 cm
 
 
 
 

 

 

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