About this artwork
In this tropical paradise of the artist’s invention, a deity presides over figures walking and resting on an embankment. Rhythmically arranged in groups of two and three, the figures appear more as symbolic forms than as portraits of individuals. Pools of water in interlocking, abstract zones of acidic color surround the feet of a bather, who is flanked by two prone figures—or perhaps the same person seen from two angles.
Unlike his other Tahitian-inspired landscapes, this painting was produced in Paris shortly after Paul Gauguin’s first trip to the island. Drawn from fantasy and memory, the psychedelic composition is one of the most abstract and avant-garde works of the artist’s career.
- Paul Gauguin
- Mahana no atua (Day of the God)
- France (Artist's nationality)
- Oil on linen canvas
- 68 × 91 cm (26 7/8 × 36 in.)
- Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection