Gauguin at the National Gallery

Gauguin Portraits at the National Gallery

Paul Gauguin is known for his vibrant pictures primarily painted in Polynesia but he also painted portraits and more. The first-ever exhibition devoted to his portraits has opened in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Featuring over fifty works, the exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. Pictures range from his early years as an artist through to his final visit to the South Seas.

Gauguin broke with accepted conventions and challenged audiences to expand their understanding of visual expression. Nowhere is this more evident than in his portraits where he revolutionised the portrait making his richer by incorporating situations and experiences. A lot of his work would not have been exactly as he saw it as he was inclined to turn things into something entirely different. He experimented with media, texture, colour and eclectic sources from both the east and the west oscillating between literal, imagined and symbolic likenesses. Initially working as a stockbroker he became a fulltime artist in the mid-1880s, abandoning his wife and five children.

Events related to the exhibition include on Friday, 1 November the Park Lane Group performing an evening of music by English composer Frederick Delius – a friend of Gauguin, alongside musical settings of poems by Stéphane Mallarmé.

On Saturday, 7 December experts discuss the realities of colonial Tahiti.

The exhibition runs until 26 January, 2020. Admission charge.

Open daily10 am – 6pm (to 9pm Friday)    T. 0800 912 6958


About Natasha Blair

Travel journalist who enjoys discovering new places in style, where possible, with her dog, a Coton de Tulear, called Poppy. Good food, not necessarily gourmet, is important as is the atmosphere as she also writes about restaurants. Culture is another love, and as she is based in London, she reviews theatre and art exhibitions.
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