The Loss of Virginity is a 1890-91 oil on canvas painting measuring 90 x 130 cm, created by the French artist Paul Gauguin. The painting is characterized by flat areas of color and strongly defined forms typical of Gauguin’s Synthetist style. The painting depicts a young naked girl and a fox, with the fox laying a paw on her possessively. It is widely recognized as an important piece of art that provides insight into Gauguin’s unconscious fears and longings for sexually aggressive men.
The painting’s subject matter has been controversial, and it has been widely debated by art critics and scholars. Some argue that the painting reflects Gauguin’s problematic views on women, while others contend that it may be an allegory for the loss of Tahitian culture to foreign domination. Despite the controversy, it remains an essential work of Gauguin’s oeuvre and an example of his innovative use of color, form, and subject matter.
Today, The Loss of Virginity is owned by the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, and is frequently displayed in exhibitions and galleries worldwide. It continues to be analyzed and studied by art students and historians for its significant role in the development of modern art.