Idol with a Pearl (1892) by Paul Gauguin

Idol with a Pearl - Paul Gauguin - 1892

Artwork Information

TitleIdol with a Pearl
ArtistPaul Gauguin
MediumTamanu wood polychromed and stained with gilding
Current LocationMusee d'Orsay, Paris

About Idol with a Pearl

Idol With A Pearl is a Paul Gauguin painting from 1892. The artwork depicts a woman sitting in a lotus position, being watched over by the head of another woman. Gauguin was a French Post-Impressionist artist who pioneered Symbolism, breaking away from the Impressionist movement. He considered himself to be “savage,” and was interested in Polynesian culture which influenced his work.

Gauguin searched for an Edenic paradise in his quest to create “primitive” art, detesting modernity and capitalism. He also worked with sculpture to further explore his “savage” nature in this medium. The painting’s symbolism remains mysterious, with only hints given by Gauguin’s own letters suggesting esoteric imagery.

In summary, Idol With A Pearl is a work that depicts a seated woman and the head of another woman, with a complex underlying symbolism that remains elusive even after being analyzed closely. Despite the enigmatic meaning, the painting is regarded as an important piece of art history and reflects Gauguin’s avant-garde style and fascination with Polynesian culture.

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