Paul Gauguin’s “Nevermore”, painted in 1897, is an oil on canvas artwork displayed in the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, UK. The painting features a reclining, naked Tahitian woman intended for the viewing pleasure of white European males. Gauguin aimed to showcase a barbaric splendor of times past through this simple nude, even though his surroundings were lacking in charm and squalid.
The painting, created in the Post-Impressionist style, is an example of Gauguin’s romantic imagination. He portrayed the woman in a natural setting, where she is stripped of her clothes, meaning she is vulnerable, exposed, and open to interpretation. Gauguin’s aim was to evoke a more profound sensation of erotic pleasure in the viewer.
By displaying such exotic imagery of the subject, Gauguin suggested a submissive and primitive persona of her. After examining the painting, one can draw their conclusion regarding whether Gauguin succeeded in rendering his thoughts regarding the barbaric splendor of the ancient past.
Overall, the painting carries historical significance and showcases the cultural ideas and biases of its time.