Skip to Content
Today Open today 11–5

Vase in the Form of a Tropical Plant with Bird and Deity

A work made of stoneware painted with slip and gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of stoneware painted with slip and gold.




Paul Gauguin
French, 1848–1903

About this artwork

In I886 Paul Gauguin was invited to design artistic pottery with the well-known ceramist Ernest Chaplet. Rather than simply decorating premade vessels, Gauguin chose to model his own unconventional forms by hand, jokingly calling them his “monstrosities.” Here the wide lip and distinctive shoulder of the vase echo the shape of the tall plant on its surface, while the protruding leaves on its sides suggest handles yet have no utilitarian function. Gauguin decorated this vase with a mix of motifs, including a goose drawn from the artist’s paintings of Brittany and a Cambodian deity copied from a photograph of a sculpture near Angkor Wat.


On View, Gallery 241


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Paul Gauguin


Vase in the Form of a Tropical Plant with Bird and Deity

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.



Stoneware painted with slip and gold


Signed: PGo 60


21.5 × 17 × 12 cm (8 1/2 × 6 1/2 × 4 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior purchase of the Estate of Suzette Morton Davidson, Major Acquisitions Centennial Endowment, Dellora A. Norris Funds

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.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions