This talk considers the role that the tropical milieu, Polynesian culture, and the French colonial played in Gauguin’s art during the 1890s. In particular, we will explore how he was inspired by the nature and culture of Tahiti and the Marquesan Islands in his art of this time. We will look in particular at his representations of Tahitian individuals, customs, and landscapes, in an art that reimagined this distant “exotic” world with a Parisian audience in mind. Particular attention will be given to the flora and fauna Gauguin represents, and to the ways he used tropical woods in his sculpture.
This botanical briefing is free of charge (paid admission to the Gardens is not required) thanks to the generous support of the Florida Humanities Council. Before or after the talk, guests are invited to visit all parts of the Gauguin exhibition.
Dr. Childs is the author of Vanishing Paradise: Art and Exoticism in Tahiti.