Still Life with Flowers and Idol

Paul Gauguinc. 1892

Kunsthaus Zürich

Kunsthaus Zürich
Zurich, Switzerland

A mysterious profile with a phosphorescent yellow eye peers out from behind a bouquet of exotic flowers, the apparition holding another flower against a violet background. The combination of a frequently demonic or enigmatic visage with a still life – a genre in which human beings are normally present only in the traces of things – occurs in Gauguin’s work from an early stage. This small picture was influenced by his first trip to Tahiti in 1891. The Polynesian culture, the natural environment and the people made a lasting impression on Gauguin, who settled there permanently in 1895. He lived on the island until his death in 1903, exploring the living environment and mysticism of Polynesia in paintings, prints and sculptures. The collection also includes three somewhat earlier paintings by the artist, their techniques still indebted to Impressionist and Post-Impressionist French painting, which is also widely represented at the Kunsthaus.


  • Title: Still Life with Flowers and Idol
  • Creator: Paul Gauguin
  • Creator Lifespan: 1848 – 1903
  • Creator Death Place: Atuona, Hiva Oa
  • Creator Birth Place: Paris
  • Date Created: c. 1892
  • Physical Dimensions: 40,5 x 32 cm
  • Type: painting
  • External Link: Kunsthaus Zürich, Online Collection
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Art Movement: Modern
  • Original title: Nature morte aux fleurs et à l'idole
  • Inventory number: 1995/0007
  • Credit line: Kunsthaus Zürich, Donated by Walter Haefner, 1995

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