• 14 Nov 2017

The retrospective at the Grand Palais

The exhibition “Gauguin the Alchemist” at the Grand Palais, ending on January 22nd, 2018, intends to trace the artistic life of the Artist, through his works. Their large number and the diversity of the materials used inspired this exhibition. With more than 230 works, it is almost exhaustive, covering a great period. His life and work are both marked by travels and changes.

Oil on canvas by Paul Gauguin, representing mills in rural Britanny, France

Paul Gauguin, Lavender fields in Pont-Aven, 1886 © Paul Gauguin

The artistic diversity of Paul Gauguin

The visitor can discover the famous paintings of the artist, as well as wood carvings, engravings and drawings. These lesser-known works are no less interesting in the Artist’s creation process. Like his contemporaries, Gauguin impregnated himself with other people’s creations to imagine his own, especially Impressionists. Thus, the vision of the object as he feels, his technique and the colors he applies earn him an important role in Post-Impressionism and Synthetism, with Vincent Van Gogh, among others.

Post-Impressionist painter and precursor of Modern Art

Painting by Paul Gauguin, representing two tahitian women in traditional clothes, sitting on the beach

Paul Gauguin, Tahitien women on the beach, 1891 © Paul Gauguin


Beginning his artistic life between Paris, Lima and Orleans, Gauguin travelled a lot. Settling in Rouen for almost a year, Gauguin was inspired by his impressionist contemporaries Degas and Pissarro. From them, he inherited the taste of depicting the city and its surroundings. Moving to Denmark with his family, he quickly returned to Paris. He began the creation of fifty ceramics, a talent he developed alongside with Ernest Chapelet, a famous ceramist. His most memorable trip is Polynesia, which will forever influence his painting, with recurrent motifs and themes. Tahitian women and the lush nature of these islands take a prominent place in his art. In addition to forty canvases in less than a year, he shows the impact of this trip on his work. His idyllic vision of Polynesia completely erases the negative aspects of the colonization of these lands.

Book here your visit to this exhibition at the Grand Palais.
Read our article about Anders Zorn at the Petit Palais here.