||Gauguin, Eugène Henri Paul
In July, 1895 Gauguin returned to Tahiti after an absence of almost two years during which he had plunged himself once more into the agitated life of Paris. This time he had tried to sell everything he owned, leaving France forever. During the summer of 1896 he proudly informed a friend that Tahiti was beautiful and that his new “wife” was named Pahura and was fourteen years old. There can be little doubt that in his canvas of the Te tamari no atua, painted the same that year, the young mother is none but Pahura and that the child held by the woman behind her is Gauguin’s own.
Here it seems that he turns a native scene into a biblical one. Were it not for the faint halos that surround the heads of the recumbent woman and the child, this painting might well be considered a colorful and poetic interpretation of an aspect of South Sea life.