Paul Gauguin - Scene from Tahitian Life 1896

Scene from Tahitian Life 1896
Scene from Tahitian Life
1896 89x124cm oil/canvas
Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

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From Hermitage, St. Petersburg:
After a short period in Paris, in 1895 Gauguin returned to Tahiti, where he had first lived from 1891 to 1893. In this painting of 1896 the artist took an unknown episode from the life of the islanders and filled it with mystery. Perhaps the participants were following some religious ritual taking place beyond the boundaries of the painting. Certainly, it is evening, the time for holy rituals. The artist studied the ancient culture of the Tahitians, and by the time of this second stay in Polynesia he was well enough informed to include increasing numbers of symbols in his work. The poses of some of the figures recall figures from the frieze of the Parthenon, for in recognising the common elements of ancient cultures, the artist also turned to Egyptian and Antique models. Gauguin created this image of the primitive, natural life in his own individual style, which was marked by generalised areas of resonant colour, flat spa ce and the rhythmic repetition of lines, which combine to create a marvellous decorative effect.