The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, April 19, 2018

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to Lend Gauguin Masterwork to Sister Museum in Nagoya, Japan
Paul Gauguin, (1897–1898), Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? oil on canvas, 139.1 × 374.6 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

BOSTON, MA.- Paul Gauguin’s masterpiece, D’où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous? (Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?) (1897–98, MFA), will leave its home at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), this spring to make its first trip to Asia. The occasion is the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the MFA’s sister museum, the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts (N/BMFA), which opened to the public on April 17, 1999. The seminal work by renowned Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) has rarely traveled since it was purchased by the Museum in 1936. It serves as the centerpiece of Gauguin, an exhibition of 40 works organized by the MFA in collaboration with the N/BMFA, which will be on view from April 18–June 21 in Nagoya, after which it will travel to the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo (MOMAT/Tokyo), where it will be on view from July 3–September 23. The exhibition, sponsored at both venues by NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), will feature 20 of the rarest and most beautiful paintings, prints, and sculptural reliefs from the MFA’s extensive collection of works by Gauguin, as well as 20 loans from Japanese museums.

"It has been a privilege to partner with our colleagues in Nagoya these past 10 years," said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "On this important anniversary, we are delighted to share one of the MFA’s greatest paintings, Gauguin’s masterpiece, D’où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous?, which will be seen for the first time by Japanese audiences."

Gauguin considered D’où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous? to be his final testament, the culmination of his prolific artistic career. Richly detailed in vibrant colors, the monumental canvas (4.5 x 12.25 feet) documents his passionate embrace of the natural world. Gauguin’s letters to associates back in France suggest that the fresco-like painting should be read from right to left, with three major figure groups pondering the questions posed in the title, written in French in the upper left-hand corner of the painting. The three women and sleeping infant represent the beginning of life, the central group symbolizes the daily existence of young adulthood, and in the final group, according to the artist, the blue idol to the left of center represents "the Beyond," while an old woman "approaching death appears reconciled and resigned to her thoughts." The painting arose from a time of great personal turmoil for Gauguin, beginning in 1897 as his health and mental state deteriorated, continuing through 1898 as he recovered from a failed suicide attempt. Though living in paradise, Gauguin was filled with self-doubt—fueled by lack of recognition and recompense—which plagued the artist until his 1903 death from syphilis in the Marquesas Islands.

"Gauguin was constantly reinventing himself, as seen in, D’où venons-nous?, which was painted during the artist’s years in Tahiti," said exhibition curator George Shackelford, Chair, Art of Europe, and Arthur K. Solomon Curator of Modern Art at the MFA. "We are delighted to be able to share with the people of Japan not only this masterpiece, but also many other works by Gauguin from our collection."

Shackelford will give a lecture on April 18 at the N/BMFA focusing on the artist's voyages to Tahiti and the Marquesas—the South Sea islands where he produced his most brilliant works of art, including his masterpiece, D’où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous? Using Gauguin's letters and journals of the period, he will illustrate how the artist’s sojourns to the other side of the globe changed his art, and the course of modern art in the 20th century.

In addition to showcasing approximately 20 works from the MFA’s collection, Gauguin also includes 20 loans from museums in Japan, including L’Allee des Alyscamps Arles (1888, Sompo Japan Museum of Art), a view of the Alyscamps at Arles painted by Gauguin during his stay there with Vincent van Gogh, and a superb group of Gauguin woodcuts on Tahitian themes from the Gifu Prefectural Museum, which will be paired with similar examples from the MFA. Te Nave Nave Fenua (1892, Ohara Museum of Art, Okayama, Japan), one of the artist’s most famous works, will be added to the exhibition on May 12. The exhibition is curated by Shackelford in collaboration with N/BMFA curator Satoko Inokuchi.

The range of works in Gauguin spans two decades of the artist’s prolific career, beginning with Entrance to the Village of Osny (1882–83, MFA) created when Gauguin was still a "Sunday painter," and ending with Women and a White Horse (1903, MFA), one of his final paintings. While the majority of works in the exhibition were created during the artist’s time in Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands (from 1891 to 1903), two of his early paintings are featured, Entrance to the Village of Osny, which reflects the Impressionist influence upon Gauguin—especially that of his mentor, Camille Pissarro—and Forest Interior (Sou Bois) (1884, MFA). Other works include Landscape with Two Breton Women (1889, MFA), reflecting the time Gauguin spent in Brittany, and Portrait de Stéphane Mallarmé (1891, MFA), an etching of his friend, Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé (1842–98).

As a young man, Gauguin (b. 1848 in Paris) spent a decade as a successful stockbroker, all the while collecting contemporary art, including works by Renoir, Cézanne, Manet, and Pissarro. He developed an interest in painting in the early 1870s, but it was not until 1876 that he exhibited his own work for the first time. Gauguin participated in the Impressionist exhibitions beginning in 1879, when he was invited to join the group by Degas and Pissarro. In 1885, he abandoned his wife and children to devote himself to art in Paris and the South Pacific.

In 1891, Gauguin left France for Tahiti, seeking in the South Seas a society that was simpler and more natural. In his self-imposed exile, away from civilization, he created works of art that expressed a highly personal mythology influenced by this comparatively untamed, primitive world. His experiences were recounted in a journal, entitled Noa Noa. Back in Paris in 1893–95 he created woodcut prints evocative of his Tahitian life as illustrations for a planned publication of the journal. Included in the exhibition are L’Univers est crée (The Creation of the Universe) (1893–94, MFA), Nave Nave Fenua (Fragrant Isle) (1893–94, MFA) and Te Atua (The Gods) (1893–94, MFA).

Gauguin often used sculpture as a medium for social commentary, and two bas-reliefs in wood are prominently displayed in the exhibition. Soyez amoureuses vous serez heureuses (Be In Love and You Will Be Happy) (1889, MFA) is a symbolic masterpiece by Gauguin, a polychromed linden panel created before he departed France. The artist considered it "the best and strangest thing I have ever done in sculpture." In it, he is depicted as a monster, seizing the hand of a protesting nude woman, saying to her: "Be in love and you will be happy." This relief was carved during one of Gauguin's immensely productive visits to Pont-Aven, in Brittany. Much about this sculpture foreshadows the art Gauguin created after he left France for the South Pacific, as seen in a composition made from two lengths of painted tamanu wood, La Guerre et La Paix: La Guerre (War and Peace: War) (1901, MFA) and La Guerre et La Paix: La Paix (War and Peace: Peace) (1901, MFA). These friezes incorporate multiple figures and include visual references to the Javanese Buddhist carvings at Borobudur, Adam in the Garden of Eden, and the ancient Column of Trajan in Rome. The central figure in the panel titled La Guerre—a mask-like giant face—is sometimes interpreted as a self-portrait by Gauguin. La Guerre et La Paix, carved late in the artist’s career, were commissioned by Gustave Fayet, an important early French collector of Gauguin’s works.

Gauguin was organized to mark the 10th anniversary of the N/BMFA. The mission of the N/BMFA is to share the distinguished encyclopedic collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and to further artistic and cultural partnerships between Japan and the United States. The Museum has had a long association with Japan beginning in 1890—about the time when Gauguin was working as an artist in Paris—when the MFA became the first museum inAmerica to establish a Japanese collection and appoint a curator specializing in Japanese art.

Last Week News

April 8, 2009

Filmmaker Ángeles González-Sinde Appointed New Minister of Culture in Spain

Grand Palais Opens Exhibition of Paintings by Artists Fascinated by Optical Illusions and Visual Puzzles

British Museum to Examine the Semi-mythical Status of Moctezuma and his Legacy Today in Exhibition

Indianapolis Museum of Art Launches, A First-of-its-kind Website Dedicated to Art Video

A Constable, a Broom Closet Find, and a Missing Heir at Bonhams 19th Century Picture Sale

The J. Paul Getty Museum will Return a 1st Century Roman Fresco to Italy in May 2009

The Morgan Receives Important Gift of Forty Drawings from Artist Jim Dine

2009 Portland Museum of Art Biennial Opens in Maine

Agathe Snow "Views From the Top, Vertigo and Constellations" on View at Jeu de Paume

Francisco Sebastián Nicolau, One of the Most Remarkable Representatives of Realism, Exhibits at IVAM

MoMA Presents a 22-Film Retrospective of the French Director and Screenwriter Julien Duvivier

Seamus Heaney's 70th Birthday to be Celebrated by Special Exhibition at Irish Museum of Modern Art

N.C. Museum of Art Expansion Project One Year from Grand Opening

Major Installations by Mark Dion and Micha Ullman at Israel Museum

"Universal Dimensions: The Space Art of Wang Ming" on Display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

Whitney to Present Selection of Early Sculptures and Drawings by Oldenburg and van Bruggen

New Photography Exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society Document the Architectural Landmarks of New York City

47 Galleries to Participate in Madridfoto, from May 7th to May 10th

The Heckscher Museum of Art Presents Le Nuit des Musees...the Night of Museums on May 16

Hyde Partners with Forty Organizations for Region-wide Season of Degas

April 7, 2009

Pompidou Offers Comprehensive Overview of the Work of Russian Artist Wassily Kandinsky

Important Works by Tamara de Lempicka From the Collection of Wolfgang Joop to be Sold at Sotheby's

Whitechapel Gallery Unveiled its Ambitious Expansion Following a 13.5 Million Capital Campaign

The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Art Thief, Rock-and-Roller, and Prodigal Son

Christie's to Offer L.S. Lowry's 1935 Classic a Market Place, Berwick-upon-Tweed in May 2009

Jeu de Paume Confronts the Works of Harun Farocki and Rodney Graham in Exhibition

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Announces Exhibition by British Photographer Fiona Crisp

Contemporary Asian Art at Sotheby's Hong Kong Brings US$8.5 Million

Martin-Gropius Bau Dedicates Exhibition to One of Germany's Most Significant Photographers

Art Basel Announces Solo Shows by 27 Young Artists as Part of its Art Statements Sector

MoMA Marks 30 Years of Celebrating Contemporary German Cinema with Kino! at Thirty: New Cinema from Germany

A Fragment of a Hebrew Inscription from the Period of the Kings of Judah was Found

Opportunity for Discussions on Ways to Apply Architectural Skills to the Particular Needs of Individual Communities

80 Major Contemporary Works from Dallas Collections Juxtaposed in Intimate, Unexpected Groupings in Private Universes

Vancouver Art Gallery Only North American Museum to Present Exhibition by Renowned Photographer Andreas Gursky

Museum of Fine Arts in Houston Premieres Landmark Exhibition of Two Thousand Years of Vietnamese Art

Immobilité: A New Work by Mark Amerika, Considered the First-ever Feature-Length Mobile Phone Art Film

Queen's Former Expert Entertains At The Bowes Museum

National Museum of the American Indian Awarded Accreditation by the American Association of Museums

Bob Trotman: Business As Usual Takes on Corporate Culture

Exhibition Explores Imagery and Function of Puppets

April 6, 2009

Urbino's Most Illustrious Son, Raphael, Honored with Exhibition in his Hometown in Italy

Smithsonian Exhibits Six Architectural Models in Design Competition for New Museum

The Middelheim Museum to Play Host to Pioneering Artist Chris Burden

A Woman with a Camera: Liselotte Grschebina Opens at Martin-Gropius Bau

Magnetic Landscape: An Exhibition of Contemporary Video Art on View at the Columbus Museum

Opportunity Resources Inc. Announces Search for Executive Director of The C.M. Russell Museum

La Casa Encendida Presents the Exhibition Portraits of New York: Photographs from the MoMA

Water Spirit is Focus of National Museum of African Art Exhibition

Palazzo dei Diamanti Opens Morandi: the Art of the Etching

The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art Presents Marcel Breuer: Design and Architecture

Western Art Expert Spotlights American Masterpieces for Tyler Museum of Art's Spring Lecture Series

In Advance of the Upcoming Sale Villa Grisebach Shows Mies van der Rohe and Photography

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Opens First European Museum Solo Exhibition for Jorge Pardo

Walker Art Gallery Announces Compelling Exhibition by Celebrated Women Artists

Gwen John and Auguste Rodin's Relationship Uncovered through New Art Display at National Museum Cardiff

Sotheby's to Sell Giorgio Soavi's Collection - Friend of Giacometti, Balthus, Sutherland and Alechinsky

Exhibition Gives a Fascinating Insight into the Family Life of Emily Tinne

A Pier from the Hellenistic Period was Discovered in Akko

Brooklyn Museum Announces Exhibition of a New Generation of Feminist Video Artists

High Presents Tenth Annual French Film Yesterday and Today

April 5, 2009

Eiffel Tower, Symbol of France, Celebrates its 120th Anniversary with Makeover

MoMA Opens First Museum Exhibition to Explore the Work of Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel

Ric Ocasek's Noise Colored Party on View at the Mahan Gallery in Columbus

New Site Transports Museum Collections Directly to Visitors' Homes and Educators' Classrooms

First Major Institutional Exhibition Outside of Great Britain by Lucy Skaer at Kunsthalle Basel

Irish Art Masterpieces For Sale at Sotheby's London in May

Art Fair Tokyo Returns to Tokyo International Forum with 143 Galleries, Both Domestic and International

Discover the Works in the National Gallery Canada Collection through Previously Unpublished Articles

The Darker Side of Light: Arts of Privacy, 1850-1900 on View at the Hammer Museum

Designs for 193M Pound New Library of Birmingham Unveiled

Museum Presents an Exhibition of Outdoor Furniture by Designer Richard Schultz

Exhibition by Painter Rosson Crow Features Large-scale, Vivid Depictions of Nostalgia-laden Interiors

$3.1 Million Grant will Pave Way for Canal/Boat Museum

NEA, AU and U.S. Department of State Announce NEA International Arts Journalism Institute in the Visual Arts

Georgia Museum of Art to Organize The South in Black and White: The Works of James E. Routh Jr., 1939-1946

Sweets & Treats: Wayne Thiebaud in the Collection of the Norton Simon Museum Announced

"Monuments in Peril: Venice" Round-Table Discussion at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on April 16

Author Susan Sully to Speak at New Orleans Museum of Art on April 26

Jack and Suzy Welch Discuss a Life-Transforming Approach to Decision Making at the Smithsonian

Seen But Not Heard: Paintings by Margarete Hahner to Open at L.A. Valley College Art Gallery

April 4, 2009

Baroque 1620 - 1800: Style In The Age of Magnificence Opens at Victoria & Albert Museum

Artist Yoko Ono Unveils "Promised Piece" to Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day

SFMOMA Announces Planning Phase for New Wing to Double Gallery Space

Picasso Portrait from the Collection of Julian Schnabel Highlights Christies Impressionist Sale

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Cuts Staff, Salaries, Budget and will Reasses Exhibition Schedule

National Gallery of Art Acquires Seminal Painting by Norman Lewis

Art Gallery of Ontario Remix Exhibition Redefines the 21st-century Indian Artist

Collection of Prints and Drawings: Jakob S. Boeskov: Siggimund at Statens Museum for Kunst

Indianapolis Museum of Art Presents Fashion in Bloom in the Paul Fashion Arts Gallery

Art of India Past and Present Opens at Peabody Essex Museum

VMFA Acquires "Spectacular" Picture Scroll From India and 1888 Oil Portrait by "Best Woman Painter in History"

Flying Goldfish Feature in I Wish I Am Fish, a New Performance by Artist Paola Pivi

Old Meets New in Photography Exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum

Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges

"Just A Moment, Please," A New L.A.-Based Public Art Project By Amely Spoetzl Presented By ArtLab21

Frank Gehry Selected to Design Eisenhower National Memorial

Film Director Mike Figgis and Tate Liverpool Work Together on Film Project

Bernard Plossu. The Land of Landscapes

British Artist Susan Collins at De La Warr Pavillion

Fake or Faint Exhibition Project Presents Amy Granat, Annja Krautgasser and Katrin Mayer

April 3, 2009

Jordaens - The Making of a Masterpiece Opens at Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht

Awasia Announces Sale of Chinese Contemporary Art To The Getty Museum

Magnificent Paintings by JMW Turner Alongside Related Works by the Old Masters at Tate

1880s Worsham-Rockefeller Bedroom Is Given to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Ragnar Kjartansson At The Pavilion of Iceland for the Biennale di Venezia

New Alphonse Mucha Appears on Auction in New York City

Opus Art Takes a Fresh Approach to Still Life this Spring

C. Emlen Urban: Lancaster's Architect at the Demuth Museum

BES Photo 2008: André Gomes, Edgar Martins, Luís Palma

Robert Rauschenberg's Enormous Periwinkle Shaft Installation Now On View at Heather James Fine Art

Discover the Resilience of Humankind Response and Memory: The Art of Beverly Buchanan at the Asheville Art Museum

Strong Sales and Attendance at The AIPAD Photography Show New York

Photographs of the Aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire 1871

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Pin Collection Exhibited for First Time at Museum of Arts and Design

Mapfre Foundation Cultural Institute Presents Fazal Sheikh

Scion's National Art Tour Installation 5: Self Portrait To Open In Minneapolis - J.Shea, Codak, Eye One To Attend

Rome Art Coterie 7th National Juried Art Exhibition

Vivid Sydney - A Celebration of Music, Light and Creativity

Kids Explore Powerful Figures Through Time During April School Vacation Week at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful