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The National Gallery presents The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Gauguin Portraits

Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 09:45

From 7 October 2019 to 26 January 2020, the National Gallery, London, and the National Gallery of Canada will present the first-ever exhibition devoted to the portraits of Paul Gauguin.

Spanning his early years as an artist through to his later years spent in French Polynesia, the exhibition shows how the French artist revolutionised the portrait. 

Paul Gauguin, Self-Portrait Dedicated to Carrière, 1888 or 1889, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon 1985.64.20

Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

By adding carefully selected attributes or placing the sitter into a suggestive context, Gauguin was able to make portraits that expressed meaning beyond their personalities. A group of self-portraits, for example, reveals how Gauguin created a range of personifications including his self-image as 'Christ in the Garden of Olives', 1889 (Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach).

Featuring about fifty works, the exhibition includes paintings, works on paper, and three-dimensional objects in a variety of media, from public and private collections worldwide. It also brings together multiple works of the same sitter from different collections scattered across the world, giving us the opportunity to see how Gauguin interpreted a model in different media over time.

Paul Gauguin, Still Life with Profile of Laval, 1886, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Samuel Josefowitz Collection of the School of Pont-Aven, through the generosity of Lilly, Endowment Inc., the Josefowitz Family, Mr. and Mrs. James M. Cornelius, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard J. Betley, Lori and Dan Efroymson, and other Friends of the Museum, 1998.167

Image courtesy of Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

To coincide with the exhibition, a special event opens in UK cinemas from 15 October. For audiences nationwide, Gauguin from the National Gallery features a new biopic filmed in Tahiti, the Marquesas, France, and the UK and an exclusive filmed exhibition tour.

National Gallery exhibitions are fabulous spaces to entertain colleagues and clients and are the unique preserve of Corporate Members at the Gallery.