Paul Gauguin, the painting Tahitians in a Room is on display in Vicenza

In Vicenza, at Palazzo Leoni Montanari, Paul Gauguin (Paris, 1848 - Atuona, 1903) is the protagonist of an exhibition, open from Nov. 30, 2019, until March 8, 2020, dedicated to the painting Tahitians in a Room(Eiaha-Ohipa in Maori language).

The painting, from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, was executed by Gauguin in 1896, when, having recently returned from France to Tahiti, he was facing economic destitution, serious health problems, and a consequent mental despondency.

The usual title, Tahitians in a Room, does not restore the sense of the Maori-language inscription that appears in the painting and rather alludes to the indolence or freedom from work of the two figures portrayed. The pair embodies the utopian condition of a harmonious state of nature, of a freedom to be and act according to one’s inclinations. Silhouetted in the background is the small figure of an observer, essentially unrelated to the scene: it is presumably the artist himself, preceded at the threshold of the room by his dog, a recurring appearance in so many other paintings of those years.

In 1891 Gauguin had set sail for the first time for Polynesia, on the one hand attracted by the otherness of exotic scenery, and on the other, interested in regenerating traditional pictorial languages through contact with a culture deemed ’primitive,’ virgin and authentic. The almost unanimous rejection encountered in Paris by the works executed in his first stay, between 1891 and 1893, now induces him to a radical detachment from the motherland. Tahiti definitively acquires an imaginary dimension, is configured as the elsewhere of a paradise immune from the constraints of Western civilization, with its logics of false progress, domination and exploitation.

The exhibition-dossier is accompanied by a rich program of collateral activities with free educational itineraries for schools, multisensory art walks, children’s workshops, floral design workshops and many initiatives aimed at immersing the visitor in a journey through the colors, scents and flavors of Polynesia.

For all information you can visit the official website of the Galleries of Italy.

Paul Gauguin, the painting Tahitians in a Room is on display in Vicenza
Paul Gauguin, the painting Tahitians in a Room is on display in Vicenza

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