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Paul Gauguin, Aline (Sold)
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TITLE:  Aline (Sold)
ARTIST:  Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903)
WORK DATE:  1884
CATEGORY:  Works on Paper (Drawings, Watercolors etc.)
MATERIALS:  Colored chalk, charcoal and wash on paper
MARKINGS:  Signed "P. Gauguin" (lower right)
SIZE:  Paper: 12.38 x 10 inches
Frame: 26.5 x 23.25 inches
STYLE:  Post-Impressionism
PRICE:  Sold
GALLERY:  M.S. Rau Antiques  +1-800-544-9440  Send Email
DESCRIPTION:  A magnificent rarity to the art market, this touching portrait by the legendary Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin displays both the artist's remarkable eye for composition and the love he felt for his subject, his only daughter Aline. Works by the esteemed Gauguin hardly ever become available for acquisition. This particular piece, executed very early in the artist's career, is indescribably rare since he executed so few compositions during this period. Gauguin is well represented in museum collections throughout the world, and is heralded today as one of the greatest artists of the 19th century.

Gauguin's artistic career began only after his job as a stockbroker came to an abrupt end due to the Paris stock market crash of 1882. Painting had been a hobby for him prior to this, but financial uncertainties and an ever-growing family to support pushed him to make the difficult decision of pursuing his passion for art. With little money to purchase art supplies, Gauguin found himself stretching his resources as far as possible, creating very few works during the 1880s, of which this touching portrayal of his daughter entitled Aline is included. It is one of the few portraits the artist completed featuring his beloved daughter, whom he shared many similarities with, including her physical profile, which is said to have been a mirror image of her father's.

It is in this composition that the viewer can discern the technical proficiency that attracted the attention and admiration of fellow artists including Camille Pissarro, Vincent van Gogh and Edgar Degas. It was Pissarro who convinced Gauguin to enter a painting to the Salon of 1876. Pissarro and Degas were so taken by his work that they invited Gauguin to exhibit at the 1879 Impressionist Exhibition and subsequent exhibitions thereafter. Pissarro took Gauguin under his wing, schooling him in the Impressionist technique, of which Aline is a perfect example. The composition gives the viewer a sensation of depth in both subject matter and emotion through its virtually intuitive blending of color and line.

This painting is accompanied by a letter of authenticity by the Wildenstein Institute.

PROVENANCE:  Edward Speelman, London
Joseph Sassoon Sykes, by whom acquired from the above in 1948, and thence by descent
ONLINE CATALOGUE(S):  M.S. Rau Antiques Inventory Catalogue
LITERATURE:  Gauguin: Premier ilineraire d'un sauvage. Catalogue de l'oeuvre peint (1873-1888), Volume I, D. Wildenstein, 2001, illustrated page 181

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