When Gauguin (1848-1903) set off for Tahiti, he hoped to find a wild, primitive landscape, synonymous with liberty. He created this painting during his first stay there (1891-1893).
He twice depicted Teha'amana, the first of his three teenage wives, sat on a sandbank along a lagoon. To the left, she is dressed in traditional Tahitian costume, and gives the painting a slight effect of depth, by the bridge of her stretched leg. To the right, covered by a missionary robe, she appears to be straight in line with the space of the canvas. By the attitude and faces, marked with melancholy, the painter tries to communicate the idea that he languished in the tropics.
The nature painted by Gauguin is synthetic, formed of flattened effects of pure colors. His paintings support pictorial symbolism.


  • Title: Tahitian Women on the Beach, 1891
  • Creator: Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Paris, Orsay museum
  • Creator Lifespan: 1848/1903
  • Creator Nationality: française
  • Creator Gender: masculin
  • Creator Death Place: Atuona, Polynésie française, France
  • Creator Birth Place: Paris, France
  • Date Created: 19th Century
  • Physical Location: Tahiti, France
  • Location: Tahiti, France
  • Location Created: Tahiti, France
  • Physical Dimensions: 69 x 91,5 cm
  • Original Language: French
  • Provenance: 1923, accepté par l'Etat à titre de don aux Musées nationaux de la comtesse Vitali en souvenir de son frère le vicomte Guy de Cholet
  • Subject Keywords: Groupe de figures, France, Territoires et collectivités d'Outre-Mer, Polynésie française, Tahiti, femme, assis, tahitien, plage, paréo, sable, mer, rose, rouge, jaune
  • Type: Painting
  • Publisher: Rmn-Grand Palais
  • Original Source: Agence photo de la Rmn-Grand Palais
  • Rights: France, Paris, musée d’Orsay
  • External Link: Agence photo de la Rmn-Grand Palais, musée d'orsay
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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