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    Description

    Paul Gauguin. Autograph Letter Signed.
    "Paul Gauguin." Two pages (of a bifolium) in French with a canceled postal cover, 4.5" x 6.75", Paris; [April 1895]. Addressed to fellow artist and friend Émile Schuffenecker in Paris, Gauguin writes an angry letter aimed at Scheffenecker and Émile Henri Bernard (1868-1941), the French Post-Impressionist painter, writer, and friend of Gauguin's. Gauguin's anger may be directed more at his wife Mette. By the time of this letter, he and his wife were irrevocably separated. Although there had been hopes of a reconciliation, they had quickly quarreled over money matters and neither visited the other. Gauguin initially refused to share any part of a 13,000-franc inheritance from his uncle he had come into shortly after returning from the South Pacific. Mette was eventually gifted 1,500 francs, but she was outraged and from that point on kept in contact with him only through Schuffenecker, doubly galling for Gauguin as his friends thus knew the true extent of his betrayal. In June 1895, Gauguin returned to Tahiti and never saw Europe again. His letter is presented here in English translation.

    "Already before my departure you were stupidly allowing that snake to influence you. Today it is even worse. What will I respond to this slander? Nothing. Were you another making this request, I would send you to hell with sarcasm; but from you, I suffer from it because it makes you suffer. As for Bernard, that is another story. I must respond, and I bid you transmit my letter with or without your commentary. If you read it closely you will understand (which you should have before) what motive animated Bernard to act as he did."

    Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was one of the most significant French Post-Impressionist painters. Breaking away from the Impressionist style, he pioneered a new form of painting referred to Symbolism. In the early 1890s, he began traveling regularly to the South Pacific, where his art was strongly influenced by the native arts of Africa, Asia, and French Polynesia.

    Émile Schuffenecker (1851-1934) was a French Post-Impressionist artist, painter, art teacher, and art collector. A friend of Paul Gauguin, whom he first met in 1872, and one of the first collectors of works by Vincent van Gogh. Since the 1920s, Schuffenecker has been suspected by some as forging works by contemporaries, such as Van Gogh. The charge has not been definitively settled.

    Condition: The letter has the usual folds, but otherwise good.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
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