Green Lion Holiday in French Polynesia
Paul Gauguin left France for self-imposed exile in French Polynesia. During his stay in Tahiti he made sketches of animals and plants using them to populate the canvas. The Tahitian forests and mountains he encountered provided a noble landscape, which fitted his need to express an alternative reality to challenge the materialism of the West. His style developed from Impressionism towards a highly personal brand of Symbolism, to combine and contrast an idealised vision of primitive Polynesian culture with the sceptical pessimism of an educated European.
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
The painting, created in Tahiti, is an accentuation of Gauguin's trailblazing post-impressionistic style.
Gauguin was inspired by the stories he was told by the indigenous Tahitians. however it so happened they only produced sculptures to scale, so when it came to adding symbols in to his paintings, Gauguin found it convenient to borrow from Christian iconography, or else add in idols that where a conflation of Indian and Javanese models.
- The Marquesas group of islands in French Polynesia where Gauguin moved to from Tahiti are the setting for Herman Melville's novel Typee.
- The novel "The Moon and Sixpence" was inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin. Charles Strickland, a conventional stockbroker, abandons his wife and children for Paris, to live his life as a painter and whilst his betrayal of family, duty and honour gives him the freedom to achieve greatness, his decision leads to an obsession which carries severe implications.