Paul Gauguin (French, 1084-1903): Te Arii Vahine (The King’s Wife). Rare limited edition gravure print. Beaux Arts edition, 1921, printed by G. van Oest. Unsigned, un framed. This print is accompanied by a document from Lisa Moran Fine Arts.
This image of The King’s Wife epitomizes Gauguin’s erotic fantasy of Tahiti. The young, naked Tahitian woman seems to become part of the fertile landscape, both of which the artist represents as beautifully seductive. The central figure in Te Arii Vahinereclines on a grassy hill alongside several brightly colored ripe mangoes. There is a white cloth covering her groin, and she holds a large round fan behind her head. Her skin color, mask-like facial features, and the setting in which she is placed clearly mark her as a native. At the same time, her iconic pose is a reference to a European tradition of painting reclining nymphs, odalisques, and Venuses that dates back at least as far as the sixteenth century. Here, Gauguin merges those familiar erotic associations with the exotic, tropical imagery that fills his canvas.
9 x 7 inches with margins.
L.M.F.A; acquired in a private sale 2005; North Carolina estate.
NOTE: If documentation is not listed, the lot is sold without documents.
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