Paul Gauguin: A Tahitian Painting Descriptive Essay by Peter Pen

Paul Gauguin: A Tahitian Painting
Discusses Paul Gauguin's "Whence Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?" from his Tahitian period.
# 113752 | 1,015 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2009
Published on May 06, 2009 in Art (History) , Art (Painting)

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This paper discusses Paul Gauguin's Tahitian paintings, focusing particularly on his work "Whence Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?". The paper explains that Gauguin's Tahitian paintings celebrate the mysteriousness and unique beauty of his new land, but are rarely accurate pictures of Tahitian life. The paper then describes this individual painting, its meaning and comments by art critics. The overall message of the painting, the author concludes, is that every person continues on the path of life, taking turns going through each phase in the eternally rotating life cycle. The paper uses footnotes instead of a bibliography.

From the Paper:

"Although Gauguin's painting poses three questions "Whence Do We Come? What Are We? Where Are We Going?", it ultimately asks a single intimate question that has continued to plague mankind: what is our purpose? This is an important aspect of his painting: it asks the questions, rather than answering them. Because of this united meaning behind all three questions, it would be impossible to contemplate one question without somehow touching upon the other two."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Herbert Read, A Concise History of Modern Painting, (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson Inc, 1985).
  • Robert Goldwater, Primitivism in Modern Art, (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1987).
  • Alfred H. Barr, Jr., The Nature of Abstract Art, (New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, 1937).
  • Herschel B. Chipp, Theories of Modern Art, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1968).

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

Paul Gauguin: A Tahitian Painting (2009, May 06) Retrieved July 13, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Paul Gauguin: A Tahitian Painting" 06 May 2009. Web. 13 July. 2020. <>