GAUGUIN by Robert Goldwater
Kirkus Star

GAUGUIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Perhaps the most illuminating work to date on Gauguin, the man and the artist, this biography with 63 reproductions in superb color, is written by the director of the Museum of Primitive Art in New York. No word is wasted. We see the painter through his works, with many quotations from his letters interpreting their splendid barbaric symbolism. Gauguin, the revolutionary, vacillating between optimism, self pity, egotism and obsessed by creative drive, questioning the call he felt to the tropics, said, "". . . my business is art. . . that is my capital, the future of my children, the honor of the name I have given them"". As he departed for Tahiti in 1891, he wrote "". . . My adored Mette, an adoration often full of bitterness.. the future is assured and I will be happy -- very happy if you will share it with me"". The evolution of his rebellion, personal and artistic, is traced from its late- day blooming in paintings of the religious peasants of Brittany through its flowering in the tropics, where he recreated Eden on canvas, leaving mankind the richer for his image of Eve after the Fall -- ""still able to walk aked, without indecency, preserving all her animal beauty"". An evocative interpretation, lush with exotic woodcuts and paintings, of the who rejected civilization for a vision of Paradise.

ISBN: 0810991470
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams