Day without the gods (Day of the deity by Mahana but nato) – Paul Gauguin

Day without the gods (Day of the deity by Mahana but nato)   Paul Gauguin

The canvas “Day of Deity” was written by Gogen in the interval between two periods of creativity, which art historians call Tahitian. Even while in France, the painter still did not release the Polynesian impressions, and open there, a completely different aesthetics inevitably “broke through” into the canvases.

This work is distinguished by a bizarre combination of scenery typical for Polynesia and the principles of classical symmetry, typical for traditional European painting.

Gauguin was always interested in the mythology of Tahiti, which was greatly contributed by his first wife, the islander Tehura. However, by the time the painter arrived on the island, the original religious life of the local inhabitants had almost died out, giving way to Christianity. The great master had only to connect his fantasy, on the basis of what he heard to invent a strange story.

Here and in this picture, Gauguin portrayed a fictitious rite – the girls, half of whom are naked, are preparing to perform a ritual around an idol of impressive size. Idol also was the fiction of the artist. On the island there are almost no ancient idols, and it was necessary to draw inspiration from photographs of the Javanese temple of the island of Borbodur.

The whole space of the picture is filled with bright colors, creating a fantastic atmosphere. It is enough to pay attention to water – the author intentionally recedes from reliability, turning the foreground into blurry spots with a curving contour. A vivid contrast to this decorative phantasmagoric reality is the background, written in the style of the usual Gogen landscape. An attentive spectator can also find Egyptian motifs on the canvas – two women with a burden over their heads seem to have come off the frescoes.

The canvas came from Gauguin mysterious and even sacral. The worship of a mysterious deity immerses the viewer into the mysterious world of another culture, irretrievably lost, swept away by a whirlwind of progress.

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