Important French post-Impressionist painter (1848–1903) recognized for his experimental use of color and synthetist style. In 1891, he traveled to Tahiti, where the brilliant hues and primitive sculpture closely complemented his own art, which was marked by strong colors, few lines, and flat patterns. Charming circa 1892 unsigned sketch of a seated Tahitian woman on an off-white 6 x 7 sheet, attractively matted and framed to an overall size of 15 x 16.75. In fine condition, with a stray ink mark to the extreme left edge. This piece was exhibited in Basel and Berlin in 1928, and again in Basel in 1949-1950. Provenance: Collection of Durrio Paco, Paris (until 1928), after which it was held in a private collection in Switzerland. Accompanied by previous exhibition labels and a letter of provenance from the Wildenstein Institute, February 17, 2011, confirming that the present drawing is recorded in the forthcoming catalogue of Gauguin’s watercolors and drawings.
Gauguin’s 1891 trip to French Polynesia was spurred by a desire to escape European civilization and ‘everything that is artificial and conventional.’ Figures such as the woman depicted in this drawing dominated his artwork during this period, which presented an exoticized view of Polynesia’s inhabitants and was full of quasi-religious symbolism. His newly adopted primitivist style departed drastically from the European impressionism he left behind and came to define his legacy. A wonderful piece emblematic of this important period. RR Auction COA.