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Te raau rahi (The Big Tree)

A work made of oil on jute canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on jute canvas.




Paul Gauguin
French, 1848-1903

About this artwork

“Everything in the landscape blinded and dazzled me,” wrote Paul Gauguin of his first months in Tahiti. Here, he showcased the island’s variety of bountiful fruit trees, including a thick-trunked, violet hotu at left; spindly mango and coconut trees; and three short banana plants with lush, splayed leaves. In the foreground, a man uses a stick to crack a coconut and a family rests in the grass with a sleeping dog beside them. The painting’s coarsely woven canvas, made of a fibrous plant matter (jute), is visible through the paint layer. Cheaper and more readily available than traditional canvas, this support material lends the work a rugged, organic texture.


On View, Gallery 247


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Paul Gauguin


Te raau rahi (The Big Tree)


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on jute canvas


72.5 × 91.5 cm (28 9/16 × 36 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Kate L. Brewster

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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