Mata Mua (In Olden Times)

Gauguin is one of the leading exponents of Post-Impressionism. He settled on the Polynesian islands, which were French, looking for peace and the simplicity of the people and their lives. His paintings of Tahitian women were to make him famous world-wide. His work had a huge influence on early 20th-century painting, particularly on French Fauvism and German Expressionism.

All the exotic natural surroundings of Polynesia can be seen in this work. An idol presides over an outdoor scene, in a Paradise-like natural setting. The figures are painted with lines, no longer the simple spots of colour of Impressionism, and the colours are very strong, with yellows, oranges, greens, purples and blues that convey a feeling of complete happiness.

Gauguin was a friend of Van Gogh, whom he visited in Arles. Some writers suggest that it was Gauguin who cut off Van Gogh’s ear with a sabre, after an argument at the doors of a brothel over a prostitute in whom they were both interested. Van Gogh apparently blamed himself so as not to lose Gauguin as a friend, as he was fond of him, but after the incident Gauguin left for Paris and they never saw each other again.

Mata Mua by Gauguin is Baroness Thyssen’s favourtite painting. So much so that she named her yacht after it.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Catalina Serrano Romero

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Author: Botaurus
Permission: This artwork is in the public domain: The author of this artwork died more than 70 years ago. According to E.U. Copyright Law, copyright expires 70 years after the author's death. In other countries, legislation may differ.