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ID number:  BIRBI-49.9
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Gauguin, Paul (1848-1903)
Title / Object name:  Bathers at Tahiti
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Tahiti
Culture:  French
Date made:  1897
Materials:  Oil on sacking
Measurements:  73.3 x 91.8 cm unframed; 92 x 110 x 7.2 cm framed
Provenance:  Sent by the artist to Ambrose Vollard, Paris, June 1898; Possibly in the collection of Edgar Degas, Paris and purchased by Jos Hessel, Paris, at his sale in 1918 (lot 47); purchased by S. Courtauld, London in January 1923; placed in consignment with Dr. A Gold, Berlin, 1929; Josef Stransky Collection, Berlin and New York, until 1936; Wildenstein, New York in 1936; Arthur Tooth & Sons, London in 1937; Henry de Vere Clifton, Liverpool, 1940, purchased from Arthur Tooth & Sons, 1949 for £4,500.

The picture was painted during Gauguin's second period in Tahiti (1895-1901). His poverty at the time is reflected in the coarse weave of the canvas. It was one of a number of pictures related to and including Where do we come from? (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) exhibited at the end of 1898 in Ambroise Vollard's gallery in Paris. Gauguin's non-representational use of colour is marked; in February 1898 he completed an essay he had been writing on the subject.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Signed and dated l.r.: P. Gauguin 97.

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Gauguin at Tahiti', Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, 16 October 1982 - 16 January 1983; 'The Art of Paul Gauguin', National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1 May - 31 July 1988, then Art Institute of Chicago 17 September - 11 December 1988 and Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 10 January - 20 April 1989; 'French Impressionism: Treasures from the Midlands', Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 7 June - 18 August 1991; 'Gauguin', Fondation Pierre Giannada, Martigny, 10 June - 22 November 1998; 'Gauguin Tahiti: L'atelier des tropiques', Galeries National du Grand Palais, Paris, 30 September 2003 - 19 January 2004 and at The Museum of Fine Art, Boston, 29 February - 20 June 2004; 'Destinations of Desire - Travelling with Artists', Landesmuseum fur Kunst, Munster, 28 September 2008 - 11 January 2009; 'Art in Revolution: Liverpool 1911', Walker Art Gallery, 24 June - 25 September 2011; 'Gauguin and Polynesia Exhibition', Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 24 September - 30 December 2011; 'Gauguin and Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise', Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 14 February - 29 April 2012; 'Collecting Gauguin: Samuel Courtauld in the 20s', Courtauld Gallery, London, 20 June - 8 September 2013; 'Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist', Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA, 25 June 2017 - 10 September 2017, Grand Palais, Paris, 11 October 2017 - 22 January 2018

1 Related People

Gauguin, Paul

4 Related Publications

Wildenstein, George.

The Art of Paul Gauguin
Brettell, Richard; Cachin, Françoise; Freches-Thory, Claire and Stuckey, Charles F.
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Gauguin Tahiti

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Gauguin Tahiti: L'atelier des tropiques

Reunion des Musees Nationaux
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