See Vojtech Jirat-Wasiutynski, Gauguin in the Context of Symbolism (New York: Garland Publ., 1978), pp. 332–335.


Wayne Andersen, Gauguin’s Paradise Lost (New York: Viking, 1971), p. 8.


Mlle. Marie Henri’s account of the room appears in Charles Chásse, Gauguin Son Temps (Paris: La Bibliothèque des Arts, 1955), pp. 79ff.


Chásse, Gauguin Son Temps, p. 74. On the notion of the earthly paradise, see Werner Hoffman, The Earthly Paradise (New York: George Braziller, 1961), p. 363:

“The time when man was in ‘direct communication with heaven’ had passed. In the nineteenth century, faith lost the extra dimension that took it into another world and transferred heaven and hell into the present one. Men believed that the promise of paradise, of happiness and contentment, could be made good here and now. But although the nineteenth century hoped again and again for an earthly fulfillment, and looked forward with frantic enthusiasm to the coming of the ‘Kingdom of God,’ in doing so it did not make a pseudo-religious act of faith … it merely sought to give to human life, from which God’s presence had been removed, abundance, a mission, significance and justification, in an earthly paradise existing now.”

The search for the earthly paradise was the central preoccupation of Gauguin’s life—first in Brittany, and then in Tahiti.


Chásse, Gauguin Son Temps, p. 68.


See James Hill, Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art. (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), p. 190.


Although Mlle. Henri was actually the mistress of Gauguin’s patron and pupil, Meyer de Haan, by whom she bore an illegitimate child, Gauguin pursued her unsuccessfully. Mlle. Henri claims to have rebuffed Gauguin because he was married. See Chásse, Gauguin sans Légendes (Paris: Les Editions du Temps, 1965), p. 37.


Quoted in Andersen, Gauguin’s Paradise Lost, p. 10. See also August Strindberg’s recollection of Gauguin’s preoccupation with his role as Creator-God of a new art form:

“Who then is he? He is Gauguin, the savage, hating an oppressive, annoying civilization, something of a Titan, who jealous of the Creator, in moments when he is lost, creates his own little creation …”

Quoted in Kuno Mittelstädt, Paul Gauguin, Self-Portraits (Oxford: Bruno Cassirer, 1968), p. 47.


Paul Sérusier, ABC de la Peinture (Paris: Floury, 1950), P. 38


See Maurice Denis, ‘L’influence de Paul Gauguin,” L’Occident, October 1903.


Charles Stuckey, Gauguin: A Retrospective (New York: Hugh Lauter Levin Assoc., distributed by Macmillan, 1987), p. 123.


The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1958), Letter 518, 6 August 1888, vol. 3, p. 2.


The Complete Letters, Letter 556, mid-October, 1888, vol. 3, p. 2.


Meyer Schapiro, Vincent van Gogh (New York: Abrams, 1983), p. 45.


The Complete Letters, Letter 306, 27 July 1883, vol. 2, p. 95.


The Complete Letters, Letter 605, 10 September 1889, vol. 3, p. 207.


The Complete Letters, Letter 597, 30 June–4 July 1889, vol. 3, p.188.