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Title Bathers at Tahiti
Original Translation Baigneuses Tahiti
Collection Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham
Artist Gauguin, Paul (French painter and printmaker, 1848-1903)
Date 1897
Signed yes
Description This image of bathers in an exotic landscape of fiery hues was painted on Gauguin's second trip to Tahiti. It is one of eight paintings which relate to the monumental canvas Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, a summation of Gauguin's philosophy of life, civilization and sexuality. The paintings were described as 'fragmentary replicas of and studies for' the larger work when they were exhibited together in 1898. In this case, the figure to the left is enlarged from the part of the landscape background which deals with our fate - Where Are We Going?.
Current Accession Number 49.9
Inscription front lr 'P. Gauguin 97'
Subject figures; landscape (Tahiti)
Measurements 73.3 x 91.8 cm
Material oil on burlap sacking
Acquisition Details Purchased from Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd. 1949 for 4,500.
Provenance A. Vollard, Paris; S. Courtauld, 1924; Dr A. Gold, Berlin, 1930; Josef Stransky Collection; C. Wildenstein & Co., Paris, 1940; Arthur Tooth & Sons, London; Harry de Vere Clifton, Liverpool.
Principal Exhibitions Paul Gauguin, Leicester Galleries, London, 1924, cat. no. 54; Opening Exhibition of Modern Foreign Gallery, Tate Gallery, London, 1926; Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Mass., on loan 1932-5; Gauguin, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, 1936, cat. no. 35; Paul Gauguin, Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Mass., 1936, cat. no. 34; Gauguin, Museum of Art, Baltimore, 1936, cat. no. 22; Collection of a Collector, Wildenstein Gallery, London, 1936, cat. no. 22; Cezanne - Gauguin, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, 1936, cat. no. 16; French 19th century painting, Quest Art Galleries, Chicago, 1937, cat. no. 10; Gauguin p Tahiti, Louisiana Museum Humleback, Humleback, 1982, cat. no. 14; The Art of Paul Gauguin, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., 1988, cat. no. 9; French Impressionism: Treasures from the Midlands, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 1991, pp. 52-3; Gauguin, Fondation Pierre Giannada, Martigny, 1998, cat. no. 119; Gauguin, Tahiti, l'atelier des tropiques, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 2004, cat. no. 146; Destinations of Desire, Landesmuseum, Munster, 2008; Gauguin, Polynesia, NY Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 2011, cat. no. 293.
Publications Sitwell, O., 'The Courtauld Collection', Apollo, August 1925, ill. p. 67; Rotonchamp, J. de, Gauguin, Paris, 1925, p. 172; Catalogue of the paintings, drawings and miniatures in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Cambridge, 1952, p. 48-49; Flint, R., 'The Private Collection of Josef Stransky', Art News, May 16, 1931, 29, p.88, ill. p. 107; Wildenstein, G., Gauguin, Paris, 1964, I, no. 564; Verdi, R., The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, London, 2005 rev. ed., p. 100.
Rights Owner The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham
Author Dr Nicola Gauld/Barber Institute



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