The painting, ‘Te Bourao II’, is one of the few works by Gauguin from his Tahiti period still in private hands. It dates from 1897 and shows an evocative Tahiti landscape.
Its name comes from the word for “tree” in the local language. According to Artcurial, the last sale in France of a Gauguin from this period was 22 years ago.
Gauguin’s bold experimentation with coloring led directly to the Synthetism style of modern art while his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the Cloisonnism style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was also an influential exponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms.
Paul Gauguin was born in Paris, France to journalist Clovis Gauguin and half-Peruvian Aline Maria Chazal, the daughter of proto-socialist leader Flora Tristan. In 1851, the family left Paris for Peru, motivated by the political climate of the period. Clovis died on the voyage, leaving three-year old Paul, his mother and his sister to fend for themselves. They lived for four years in Lima, Peru with Paul's uncle and his family. The imagery of Peru would later influence Paul in his art.