Tehamana has many parents (The Ancestors of Tehamana) (1893; French Polynesia) by Paul Gauguin

Tehamana has many parents (The Ancestors of Tehamana) - Paul Gauguin - 1893; French Polynesia

All Artwork Images

Artwork Information

TitleTehamana has many parents (The Ancestors of Tehamana)
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1893; French Polynesia
Art MovementCloisonnism
Current LocationArt Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US

About Tehamana has many parents (The Ancestors of Tehamana)

“Tehamana has many parents (The Ancestors of Tehamana)” is an artwork painted by artist Paul Gauguin in 1893 during his time in French Polynesia. Created using oil on canvas, this painting is representative of the Cloisonnism art movement, a style known for bold, flat forms separated by dark contours. Gauguin’s work is classified in the portrait genre and is housed at the Art Institute of Chicago, located in Chicago, IL, United States.

The artwork portrays Tehamana, Gauguin’s Tahitian companion, depicted with a solemn, direct gaze, conveying a sense of thoughtfulness or introspection. She is adorned with a traditional white flower in her hair which contrasts vividly with her darker skin tone. Her dress is notable for its vertical stripes and lace, combining elements of European fashion with traditional Polynesian attire, a reflection of the cultural synthesis present during Gauguin’s stay in the region. Tehamana is holding a fan, which further emphasizes the blend of Western and non-Western motifs. In the background, we see a representation of Tahitian ancestors rendered in red, serving as a symbolic connection to Tehamana’s heritage and the island’s historical past. These ancestral figures, coupled with the Tahitian glyphs hover above her, suggesting a spiritual or narrative backdrop to the individual portrait.

The rich color palette and the juxtaposition of contemporary and traditional elements make this portrait not just a representation of an individual, but also a window into the cultural realities of colonial Polynesia as interpreted through Gauguin’s unique artistic vision.

Other Artwork from Paul Gauguin

More Cloisonnism Artwork

Scroll to Top