Faaturuma (Melancholic) is a painting created in 1891 by Paul Gauguin, a prominent French Post-Impressionist artist. The piece can be found in The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. The painting is believed to portray Tehamana, who was Gauguin’s vahine while he was in Mataiea.
Gauguin left France and went to Tahiti to find an untouched earthly paradise after feeling disillusioned with modern society. The painting is an example of Gauguin’s non-naturalistic use of color and form, which was part of his style even before he arrived in Tahiti. Gauguin is recognized as one of France’s most significant artists and a pioneer of a new style of painting called Symbolism.
In 1921, the Worcester Art Museum acquired Faaturuma, and it was the first work by Gauguin to appear in an American museum. The painting offers us an opportunity to examine Gauguin’s use of color and form in the creation of an evocative depiction of Tehamana, who was both a lover and a muse for the artist. Gauguin’s works, including Faaturuma, are known for their sophistication and innovative use of elements such as color and movement. Overall, Faaturuma is an example of Gauguin’s unique style, which transcends typical artistic approaches to portray a deeper and more profound representation of the subject.