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    Description

    Paul Gauguin. Autograph Manuscript.
    Four pages, in French, 7.5" x 11.25, n.p., n.d. In this apparently incomplete manuscript, Gauguin discusses art and color. English translation is presented here:

    "...giving such importance to that Dutch school, in the country that invented Chloe [missing] who/which created so many small paintings, so minuscule but precious. I know that Holland is the first to cut diamonds, that rich merchants returning from the Indies had to, in a hotel, a tiny sum [illegible] as many paintings as tulips. That infatuation with losing taste for great decorative arts is a slippery slope. And what role does nature play, or the copy of nature [illegible]? In decorative arts, no role or hardly any role at all; only the role that a painter poor in creative imagination would give it (I do say creative and not organizing). In this art, color becomes essentially musical. [Illegible] in this cathedral we hear the organ, an auditory translation of our thoughts; color is a music, a symphonic chorus of voices [missing] whatever name we want to give it - also, a pure translation [missing] of our thoughts. As a result in all [missing] monuments everything must be in accord [missing] struggle with the small one. For example [missing] details without destroying the overarching theme [missing] a truly serrated construction [missing] it is nevertheless true that when these details are taken one by one (as tiny as they may be) always suggest a vast form, and especially [illegible] in comparison with nature. Let us enter into the cathedral, let us make the sign of the cross, a sign that it truly deserves. There the windows are decorated with stained glass, whose fundamental basis is colored light - that is in fact where light must come through in rich branches carried by angels, celestial beings coming from the canopy of heaven. But the walls are, and must remain, lengthened by a series of columns linked among themselves, all united to sustain the structure; force and elegance. And you will come through these [illegible] make new windows opening out to nature. [Lines crossed out] We think we can establish as a decorative principle - on these so decorative walls [missing] has seen to it that not a centimeter of the painting's surface strays from [missing] mural...or the city of Paris in their orders [missing] have strayed from the true goal [missing] the monuments that belong to them, because there are better ways to [illegible] to become a branch of Public Assistance. Give assistance to the greatest degree possible, and to as many artists as possible, who are loyal to the submission. From there notions of monumental decoration seem to fall into oblivion. Notwithstanding the voluminous work which could be written on this subject, add as you wish to these reflections and general ideas.

    Since everything in nature, the biological and visual world as well as the imaginative and mysterious world have certain laws of relative size, it is necessary in decorative art to properly establish the size of surfaces to be filled. A dwarf and a giant are two beings below and above the supposed average and [missing] seems to see with a ridiculous understanding [missing] things that dwarves on gigantic walls and [missing] against the giants in tiny apartments [missing] decorate opera houses of huge stature [missing] small columns and [illegible] or mantelpiece statuettes. This person sculpts [missing/illegible] on a hazelnut and places a worker in the fields on a ten meter canvas. Science [missing] microscope and telescope but the latter instrument only serves for enormous structures. And it would be a lengthy study to [missing] is not yet our goal [missing] had only wished to awaken [missing] an art that is disappearing, without establishing formulas to indicate in a few words what causes it."

    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.

    An interesting commentary on art and color by Gauguin.

    Condition: Pages torn (amateurish repair with tape in parts), with paper loss affecting text; fragile. Poor condition.


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    Additional Location Info:
    Ukrainian Institute of America at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion2 East 79th StreetNew York, NY 10075

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