Continuing with our six weeks of bathing paintings, I had to include one of Gauguin’s signature Tahitian pieces, Bathers, also known as A Walk by the Sea or Tahitian Family. Painted in 1902, just over 100 years later it was listed by Art News as one of The 10 Most Wanted Works of Art in the world. Gauguin’s story is probably the most romanticized in the art world–a Parisian stockbroker who set sail for French Polynesia to be free of “everything that was artificial and conventional” he lived like a savage and created a simpler life for himself that he recorded in his paintings.  In reality Gauguin’s life was anything but glamorous; he was an abusive husband who left his wife of eleven years and their 5 children, and went on to seduce young women in Tahiti, where much has been made of his violent sexual life. A case has been made that Van Gogh cut his ear off for Gauguin, and deduced from Gauguin’s journals that Van Gogh’s love was most likely unrequited because Paul was only attracted to younger and more attractive men–no one knows for sure, but in the end, Gauguin became disillusioned with the colonialism of Tahiti and died of syphilis searching for a lost paradise. His personal life aside, Gauguin’s use of color and lush imagery still makes him one of my favorite painters.

What I love about Gauguin’s art, is that despite being accused of misrepresenting Tahitian culture and painting an idyllic fantasy world, the dreams, mystery and symbolism in his work transcend all criticism. His vivid use of color and lack of classical perspective changed the course of modern art, influenced both Picasso and Matisse, but never came into vogue until shortly after his death.

To me, Gauguin’s exoticized world is echoed in this Mary Katrantzou Babelonia metallic dress. Paired with our tan Leopard Bancroft calf-hair fold-over clutch {a slightly bold pattern mix choice that may not appeal to everyone but I think somehow works} and a pair of earthy deep brown McQ Alexander McQueen heels plus a bright pink Laura Mercier lipstick, it has a sophisticated wild woman feel perfect for the end of summer.

Are you a fan of Gauguin’s work and how do you feel about this outfit?

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23 Comments

design elements June 2, 2019 at 05:27

your art-inspired posts are simpley my fave of all your posts.
Big hugs Maria

June June 2, 2019 at 15:52

Glad you to see that you’re back! Love the story!!
Keep in touch

xx

Pamela June 3, 2019 at 01:01

I can see that her arms are so thin. This is a fascinating painting. The white floral dress is so pretty. Your drawings that you share in IG Mary Jo are amazing.

Karena Albert June 3, 2019 at 08:13

This is such a poignant post Mary Jo! The Wyeths are an incredible family of artists And Andrew’s Christina is unforgettable. This Spring I am enjoying the wondrous weather and getting out to walk! ! Thanks for the super tips!

Xoxo

La Contessa June 3, 2019 at 14:41

Thank YOU for the story BEHIND This painting!I had not known any of that………..love how you created a blog POST around this LADY.55…….that will be my age in July!How on earth did that occur………
Hugs to You……..Looks like you are blooming in NEW YORK CITY!Keep it up!!XX

Kizzy Von Doll June 3, 2019 at 15:36

This is really wonderful..such a gorgeous painting x

cat eyes & skinny jeans June 3, 2019 at 16:52

This has always been one of my favorite paintings – it’s so serene and peaceful. I love the set you created inspired from it – especially the nifty makeup subsection!

Rowena June 3, 2019 at 19:55

I love the back stories you always provide for the art work you feature Mary Jo. They’re always so fascinating! I should really look into a silk pillowcase 🙂

Ann June 3, 2019 at 22:58

What a lovely painting and an equally lovely story behind it.
Nice post.

Kim June 4, 2019 at 02:49

Hi! Glad you’re back! Thanks for popping by today to let me know! I have seen that painting (well, reproductions) and I never knew the backstory. Amazing. You can feel her determination come off the canvas!

FASHION TALES June 4, 2019 at 14:16

This was so interesting and I’m so glad to know more about this painting. I’ve loved the colours and always wondered more about it. Welcome back, and thanks very much for your comments and visit. Hope you’re enjoying your spring so far <3

Suz June 5, 2019 at 17:55

I love the stories behind the art. Thanks. You have a beautiful blog which is a pleasure to visit.

Marcela June 5, 2019 at 22:16

Lovely painting!!! nice inspiration!!!
Have a good week!!!!!:)))

Marika Odoardi June 6, 2019 at 02:00

That’s a great painting!

Zara June 6, 2019 at 11:57

Never seen this painting before… such a touching story behind!
Thanks for the cosmetics tips too! Btw, I’ve never used an eye-liner as a pencil yet.. just wonder if it dries up quickly?
take care!
be back!

XO

Audrey Allure June 6, 2019 at 23:14

For the Figment Art Festival, one of my friends participated in an “Art Comes to Life” piece, and she posed as this painting! Funny enough, I recently visited this at the MoMa – such beautiful work.

Couture Carrie June 7, 2019 at 00:25

Amazing post!
Must try that mascara!

xoxox,
CC

Denise June 7, 2019 at 12:27

I never saw that one hanging in any of My Grandparents home’s,it is new to Me. I do like it though.Thank You for dropping by to say hello and leading Me to Your blog,where I always learn something new. Hugs to You and blessings Your way-Denise

Style Diary Of A Fashion Fanatic June 8, 2019 at 02:59

Hi!!!!!
How have you been?
I love that painting!!!!!!
Hope you have a great day,
Shannon

Catherine Robinson June 8, 2019 at 09:24

Hello…thanks for popping over always lovely to hear from you…I adore this painting, I haven’t seen it before…I could look at it forever! xx

Diana Mieczan June 8, 2019 at 13:47

Oh boy, the back story is so fascinating, sweetie! Btw: I think I need the DV Mascara now:) Have a great morning.

Alicia Mackin June 8, 2019 at 18:26

Wow I never knew the story behind this painting. But I remember this painting as a kid and how haunting it was. Yes so many people in our society think they have problems but they don’t, they just have issues. Thanks for the info!

little luxury list June 9, 2019 at 02:03

I only remembered this painting after looking at it for a while. I never noticed details like the thin arms and the individual blades of grass before. She really is so strong and the pillow cases also exude quiet elegance too!

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