Paul Gauguin “Miseres Humaines” Limited Edition Woodcut
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848 — May 8, 1903) was a leading Post-Impressionist painter. His bold experimentation with coloring led directly to the Synthetist style of modern art while his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was also an influential exponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms.
Paul Gauguin was born in Paris, France to journalist Clovis Gauguin and half-Peruvian Aline Maria Chazal, the daughter of proto-socialist leader Flora Tristan. In 1851 the family left Paris for Peru, motivated by the political climate of the period. Clovis died on the voyage, leaving three-year old Paul, his mother and his sister to fend for themselves. They lived for four years in Lima, Peru with Paul’s uncle and his family. The imagery of Peru would later influence Paul in his art.
In 1891, Gauguin, frustrated by lack of recognition at home and financially destitute, sailed to the tropics to escape European civilization and “everything that is artificial and conventional.”
Living in Mataiea Village in Tahiti, he painted “Fatata te Miti” (“By the Sea”), “Ia Orana Maria” (Ave Maria) and other depictions of Tahitian life. He moved to Punaauia in 1897, where he created the masterpiece painting “Where Do We Come From” and then lived the rest of his life in the Marquesas Islands, returning to France only once.
His works of that period are full of quasi-religious symbolism and an exoticized view of the inhabitants of Polynesia. In Polynesia, he sided with the native peoples, clashing often with the colonial authorities and with the Catholic Church. During this period he also wrote the book Avant et après (before and after), a fragmented collection of observations about life in Polynesia, memories from his life and comments on literature and paintings.
It was during this period Paul Gauguin, executed his wood cuts of this series and several others.
Paul Gauguin “Miseres Humaines” Limited Edition Woodcut, recorded in the catalogue Guerin Catalogue of Gauguin’s works #29. This rare work and others are woodcuts after the original edition, all published by The Grabhorn Press, 1943 in a limited edition of 250 copies. Bright and in fine condition. Each sheet measures 9.50 by 15 and the image is 7.50 by 11 inches and printed on a very fine japon-rice paper in excellent condition.
Art (paintings, prints, frames)