Disgusted with the materialism of European society, Gauguin abandoned his family and career as a stockbroker and departed for Tahiti in 1891. This canvas is among the first paintings he completed on the island. Its rich colors and stylized figures were intended to be both symbolic and mysterious, evoking private thoughts and emotions. “I obtain symphonies,” he wrote, “harmonies that represent nothing real in the absolute sense of the word.”
Credit Line: Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art.