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Mahana no atua (Day of the God)

Brightly colored painting of a medium-skinned nude woman sitting on pink sand with her feet in a multicolored body of water, flanked by two nude figures resting in the fetal position. Behind them is a deity sculpture and individuals carrying objects, dancing, and swimming.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Brightly colored painting of a medium-skinned nude woman sitting on pink sand with her feet in a multicolored body of water, flanked by two nude figures resting in the fetal position. Behind them is a deity sculpture and individuals carrying objects, dancing, and swimming.

Date:

1894

Artist:

Paul Gauguin
French, 1848-1903

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.

Status

On View, Gallery 247

Department

Painting and Sculpture of Europe

Artist

Paul Gauguin

Title

Mahana no atua (Day of the God)

Place

France (Artist's nationality)

Date

1894

Medium

Oil on linen canvas

Dimensions

68 × 91 cm (26 7/8 × 36 in.)

Credit Line

Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection

Reference Number

1926.198

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/27943/manifest.json

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.

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