Three Tahitians (1899)
About this artwork
Three three-quarter length figures stand out against a vivid, colourful background. Two women flank a young man, seen from behind. They may be offering him a choice, possibly between vice, symbolised by the apple, and virtue, symbolised by the flowers. This suggestion ties in with the allegorical character of many of Gauguin's Tahitian paintings in which ideas from different cultures are fused together. Gauguin used the same two young women as models in other paintings made around the same time, during his second period in Tahiti from 1895-1901.
- title: Three Tahitians
- accession number: NG 2221
- artist: Paul GauguinFrench (1848 - 1903)
- gallery: On Loan
- object type: Painting
- subject: Post Impressionism
- medium: Oil on canvas
- date created: 1899
- measurements: 73.00 x 94.00 cm (framed: 107.00 x 127.00 x 7.00 cm)
- credit line: Presented by Sir Alexander Maitland in memory of his wife Rosalind 1960
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
Gauguin's highly original paintings profoundly influenced modern art of the twentieth century. Now described as a 'Post-Impressionist', he was inspired to paint by Pissarro, but developed a symbolic style, using colour to express meaning. Traditions in western art and cultures outside Europe influenced his work. Gauguin's taste for travel and new experiences began when, as a child, he left Paris for Peru. In 1883 he abandoned stockbroking to dedicate himself to painting full-time. He painted in Brittany, and in Provence with Van Gogh. Gauguin travelled to Panama and Martinique and settled in Tahiti for several years. He died on the remote Marchese Islands.