Object Image

Tahitian Women Bathing

Dreaming of a paradise where he could “listen to the silence of beautiful tropical nights,” Gauguin set off for Tahiti in June 1891. While at first Tahitian Women Bathing resembles the artist’s Polynesian paintings, it was not painted in oil on canvas, but rather in oil on paper, and was begun as a sheet of working drawings. The large sheet was later mounted on canvas, retouched, and varnished, presumably to ready the work for sale. The unusual evolution of this picture from a sheet of working drawings provides insight into the artist’s methodology as a draftsman and painter, and also accounts for its compositional disharmony.

Credit: Robert Lehman Collection, 1975...

1892
Oil on paper, laid down on canvas
43.8 x 35.1cm
1975.1.179
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection