Gauguin’s portraits are coming to the National Gallery London


Paul Gauguin’s first-ever exhibition devoted to his portraits (1848–1903) will open at the National Gallery this October.

On until 26 January 2019, the exhibition will show how the French artist, famous for his paintings of French Polynesia, revolutionised the art of the portrait.

Gauguin was rarely interested in exploring his portrait sitters’ social standing, personality, or family background, which had been among the main reasons for painting portraits in the past. 

The exhibition’s made up of sculptures in ceramics, wood paintings, drawings and more, even showing how Gauguin created a range of personifications including his self-image as Jesus Christ. Together with his use of intense colour and his interest in non-Western subject matter, his approach had a far-reaching influence on artists throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries including Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Gauguin Portraits will show how the artist – inspired by his time spent in Brittany, France and French Polynesia from the mid-1880s to the end of his life in 1903 – became fascinated by societies that to him seemed close to nature. With their folk-tale heritage and spirituality, these communities appeared to him to be far removed from the industrialisation of Paris.

See the exhibition at the National Gallery in London from October to 26 January 2019. See more at the Gallery’s website.

National Gallery London