About this artwork
Combining painting, sculpture, and carpentry, this unique object was created collaboratively by Paul Gauguin and his younger contemporary Émile Bernard. Their artistic experiments, often undertaken in the spirit of friendly competition, challenged hierarchical distinctions between fine art, grounded in aesthetics, and decorative art, associated with functionality. Bernard carved the left panel, while Gauguin carved the center and probably top panels. Both artists incorporated animals, trees, and people from village life in Brittany, France, motifs they also used in their paintings. The figures on the right panel were inspired by Gauguin’s trip the previous year to the Carribean island of Martinique. This visit informed his later decision to leave France, which ultimately led him to Tahiti.
- Paul Gauguin
- Earthly Paradise
- France (Object made in)
- Chestnut and pine, carved and polychromed; glass, metal hardware
- 101 × 120 × 60.5 cm (39 3/4 × 47 1/4 × 23 13/16 in.)
- Through prior gift of Henry Morgen, Ann G. Morgen, Meyer Wasser, and Ruth G. Wasser; purchased with funds provided by Edward M. Blair