Mahana no atua (Day of the God)

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

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  • A work made of oil on linen canvas.

Date:

1894

Artist:

Paul Gauguin
French, 1848-1903

About this artwork

Day of the God is one of a small number of paintings of Tahitian subjects that Paul Gauguin made in France between his stays in the South Pacific. An imaginary rather than realistic depiction of the South Seas, it is dominated by an idol of the goddess Hina. To the right of her, women dance the upaupa, a suggestive ancient Tahitian dance that missionaries and colonial authorities tried to suppress. In a middle ground of pink sand sits a female bather flanked by ambiguously gendered figures lying on their sides. Although the arrangement of this trio seems symbolic—perhaps of birth, life, and death—Gauguin made its exact meaning an enigma.

On View

European Painting and Sculpture, Gallery 247

Artist

Paul Gauguin

Title

Mahana no atua (Day of the God)

Origin

France

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

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 .

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