Siesta by Paul Gauguin

Siesta by Paul Gauguin

The canvas “Siesta” was written in 1894, however, for some reason, Gauguin did not mention it in his “Tahitian Diary”.

The picture at first sight attracts its unusual interpretation. First, if you compare it with other Tahitian canvases, you can immediately note that it is more realistic – the painter does not go beyond the existing world, does not try to give the plot some mystery or omiphologize it. Secondly, Gauguin has more freely approached the composition – before us, as if not exactly a picture, and a snapshot, where each turned out as it turned out.

It seems that the artist first thought, maybe life unfolds not in the wide space of an exotic island full of legends and rich in a mythological past, but only within the boundaries of an ordinary house? The whole action of the picture takes place on the veranda, where four women gathered. The central character is the ironclad, who is busy with her usual business. In the foreground is a woman who came with shopping. The master turned this heroine back to the spectator.

All girls are dressed in colonial dresses, bright, modern. However, no civilized intrusion, even in the form of fashionable dresses, was shaken by the usual stamina of Tahitian women – they are still busy with their own affairs and live in a world that is familiar to them.

Civilized shell – this is only the external side, not a substitute for the essence – either the author of the canvas proclaimed, or the author persuaded himself. As is known, Gauguin arrived on the island for this pristine, wild, exotic, yet unspoiled Europeans. However, very soon Gaugin is disappointed in these ideas, seeing that the Tahitian way of life is invariably inferior to the European, remaining only in the pictures of the great and unrecognized Gauguin.

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