Tahitian Woman and Boy
Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903)
On View

Gauguin sailed for Tahiti in 1891. A former stockbroker and primarily self-taught artist, he left behind both his family and what he regarded as the bourgeois constraints of modern French society, but what he found in the South Seas was not the primitive paradise he’d hoped for. Tahiti was already a French colony; the wicker chair and the high-necked gown shown in this portrait testify to the presence of European merchants and missionaries. Despite his initial disappointment and his rapidly declining health Gauguin’s years in Tahiti were the most important of his career. Drawing inspiration from his tropical surroundings and a cast of island models (the female sitter for this portrait may have been his teenaged consort, Pau’ura), Gauguin forged a new vision for modern art: sensuous, mysterious, radiantly, riotously colorful.


  • Artist Name: Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903)
  • Title: Tahitian Woman and Boy
  • Date: 1899
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 37-1/4 x 24-3/8 in. (94.6 x 61.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
  • Accession Number: M.1976.08.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

[Ambroise Vollard, Paris].
Moll, Vienna.
Mrs. Austin Mardon, Ardross Castle, Scotland, 1923 (sale, London, Sotheby's, 24-25 November 1964, lot 32, to);
[Hammer Galleries, New York, sold 1965 to];
Norton Simon, Los Angeles, gift 1976 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

Loan Exhibition of Masterpieces of French Art of the 19th Century in Aid of the Lord Mayor's Appeal for the Hospitals

  • Manchester, Thomas Agnew and Sons, 1923 to 1923

40th Anniversary Loan Exhibition, 1928-1968

  • New York, Hammer Galleries, 1968-11-07 to 1968-12-07

The Nabis

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1992-09-24 to 1993-07-18

Three Centuries of French Art: Selections from The Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art and The Norton Simon Foundation_1

  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1973-05-03 to 1976-06-15

Gaze: Portraiture After Ingres

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2009-10-30 to 2010-04-05

Reinstallation of South Wing

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-10-07 to 1995-08-13
  • Feron, J., New York Times,
  • Steadman, David W., The Connoisseur, pl. C pp. 223, 225
  • Meier-Graefe, Julius, Entwicklungs-Geschichte der Modernen Kunst, 1904, p. 141
  • de Rotonchamp, Jean, Paul Gauguin, 1848-1903, 1925, no. 7 p. 221
  • Wildenstein, Georges, Gauguin, 1964, no. 578
  • Sugana, Gabriele M., Tout l'oeuvre peint de Gauguin, 1972, no. 400 pp. 110, 112
  • Gauguin: A Retrospective, 1987, p. 343
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 169
  • Eisenman, Stephen F., Gauguin's Skirt, 1997, pp. 74, 76-77, 228, ill. 77, 228
  • Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1, 2006,
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 262 p. 277
  • Homburg, Cornelia and Christopher Riopelle, Gauguin: Portraits, 2019, 76 p. 139
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Te Atua-les Dieux Paul Gauguin 1895 (Posthumous impression, 1961)

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