Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey

Exhibition Website

Nov 17 2018 - Apr 7 2019

In the first exhibition at the Fine Arts Museums dedicated to the work of Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), an exceptional display of more than fifty Gauguin paintings, wood carvings, and ceramics from the renowned collections of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. These are on view for the first time in San Francisco, alongside Oceanic art and Gauguin works-on-paper from the Fine Arts Museums’ permanent collections.

The exhibition explores Gauguin’s inner quests and imaginings—his spiritual journey—and how his intimate relationships with his wife, other artists, and people he encountered during his sojourns shaped his experiences, his work, and his development as an artist. What was Gauguin seeking? Above all, he aspired to succeed and innovate as an artist. His relationships with artists and dealers influenced his practice. His artistic quest led him to work in different media, including ceramics and wood, and to travel beyond France to the far reaches of the French colonial empire in the Pacific. He drew inspiration from his visits to remote locales and a vast visual archive of photography and global art that he gathered throughout his life.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.   
Image: Paul Gauguin, 'Tahitian Woman with a Flower,' 1891. Oil on canvas, 27 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. (70.5 x 46.5 cm). Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 1828. Photograph by Ole Haupt, © Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen


Whether or not you go, Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey showcases dozens of Paul Gauguin's most celebrated works and presents a new consideration of the artist's relationships. This vibrant examination of Paul Gauguin's life and work features paintings, wood carvings, and ceramics along with Oceanic art and Gauguin's works on paper. Each piece is reproduced in exquisite detail, offering a superb opportunity to enjoy Gauguin's groundbreaking use of color, line, and form. Essays examine Gauguin's relationships and reveal the struggles, indulgences, awakenings, and betrayals of his personal and professional life. Other essays provide new insights into Gauguin's travels to the far reaches of the French colonial empire in the Pacific and explore his cultural identity, sexuality, and spirituality. Beautifully designed to complement Gauguin's extraordinary oeuvre, this book offers a refreshing take on an artist whose life and work continue to fascinate to the present day.

Select Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey to learn more, or to place this book in your Amazon shopping cart. Your Amazon purchase through this link generates a small commission that will help to fund the search engine.

  • Various Media
  • European
  • 19th Century
  • Paul Gauguin

Exhibition Venues & Dates