Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paul Gauguin's Two Tahitian Women (1899)

"This is evil!" shouted the female perp in this incident — National Gallery visitor attacks Gauguin painting, officials say. "She was really pounding it with her fists," an eye-witness said. "It was like this weird surreal scene that one doesn't expect at the National Gallery."

Paul Gauguin's The Yellow Christ (1889) and Spirit of the Dead Watching (Manao tupapau) (1892) are old friends of mine, housed as they are in my city's art gallery. About the painting above, a post at Catholic Culture and Society comes to mind — Women in Art / as window into the soul of a culture.

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Blogger love the girls said...

Thank you for the link.

And I can see why the woman would single out that painting. Not because it's evil, but because Gaugin directs the eyes to the breasts. Which in context is disordered because Gaugin takes the natural and displays it as if it is unnatural, not unlike nursing mothers who insist on covering themselves as if their nursing is shameful.

11:01 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

My eyes are directed to the eyes, but I've always found breast-fixation a bit infantile.

1:57 PM  
Blogger love the girls said...

Your eyes may be directed to the eyes. But not because of the painting. The context of the painting focuses on the breasts.

The sweep of the dress from the shoulder moves the eyes downward and over to the breasts.

The platter sets off the breasts, as do the arms and hand to a lesser extent.

The girls faces are in shadow with the eyes as dark pools while the breasts are highlighted.

Guaguin is definitely directing our eyes to the breasts.

2:40 PM  

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