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.