Paul Gauguin - Sacred Spring 1894

Sacred Spring 1894
Sacred Spring
1894 74x100cm oil/canvas
Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

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From Hermitage, St. Petersburg:
Gauguin returned from his first stay in Tahiti (1891-1893) to spend nearly two years in Paris, where he painted this work. The exotic world of Oceania had captured the artist's imagination with its harmony of man and nature, with what he saw as the preservation of primitive simplicity. This work captures his recollections of Tahiti and his romantic dreams of the harmony of all on earth. The Tahitian girls symbolise different stages in life. The young islander with the halo above her head, deep in sleep, is the embodiment of virgin purity, while the second girl with the fruit in her hand, ready to take a bite, is like Eve. In the depths of the landscape islanders are dancing around an idol, some mysterious ancient god. The canvas reveals the artist's very individual style with its pure colours applied in generalised flat areas which, like the lines, are subjugated to a single rhythm.