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Under the Pandanus (I Raro te Oviri), 1891

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Artist Gauguin, Eugène Henri Paul

On the 8th December 1892, Gauguin wrote to Mette that he had just dispatched eight new canvases to France destined form an exhibition of his work which she was preparing in Copenhagen for 1893. The list of pictures includes the present cannas. Gauguin gives the title of each in Tahitian, with an approximate translation, added: ‘This translation is only for you, so that you can pass it on to anyone who asks. But I insist that the catalogue shall contain nothing but the titles which are written on the pictures. This language is curios and is capable of several interpretations’. At the same time, Gauguin wrote to de Monfreid, to whom these pictures were addressed, pointing out that in four cases the title had not been inscribed and asking him to do this when the consignment arrived. Monsieur Leymarie, editor of the catalogue of the latest Gauguin exhibition in Paris (1949), has noted that the inscription on this picture (bottom right) is in a different hand. A second version of this composition is known, with variations: note space between the tree on the left and the edge of the canvas, less on the extreme righit; the insctiption, immediately above the signature on the left ; difference in the shapes on the ground and in the colours (generally darker), both women wear red skirts. This (probably first) version was retained by Gauguin and included in his auction in Paris in February1895. The present is undoubtedly the more elaborated painting and the more successful composition.
Note the rhythmic patterning of the ground, which serves both a structural and s decorative purpose. Compare the colour progression- from red and purple in the foreground, to green and blue.



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 67.31 x 90.805 cm













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