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    Paul Gauguin. Tahitian or Polynesian-French Dictionary. AM. Four pages (both sides of two separate sheets), 8" x 12.25"; [Tahiti?]; [ca. 1890s]. Gauguin probably created this manuscript during one of the two periods of time he lived in Tahiti. There are approximately 246 Tahitian/Polynesian words with their French translation, with 20 or so words crossed out.
    Samples of the words listed in the dictionary are "Ani" for the French word "Demander" [request]; "Ta ahu" for "Habiller" [dress]; "Taimaa" for "Soulier" [shoe]; and "Afai" for "Porter" [carry].

    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.

    Gauguin traveled for the first time to Tahiti in June 1891. Expecting an untouched paradise, he was disappointed by the pervasiveness of French colonization. While there, he attempted to immerse himself in what he believed were the authentic aspects of the Tahitian culture, employing Tahitian titles for some of his paintings. In an attempt to remove himself from inherited Western conventions, Gauguin emulated Oceanic traditions in his sculptures and woodcuts from this period. Gauguin was in Tahiti from 1891 to 1893, when he returned to France to find success with his new style of work. He returned to Tahiti in 1895, where he lived for a few years until his disgust with what he considered the corrupting influence of Western civilization on the island. In 1901, Gauguin moved to the French Polynesian island of Hiva Oa, where he died two years later.

    A fascinating manuscript relating to Gauguin's time in Tahiti.

    Condition: Besides slight toning, condition is good.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
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