Paul Gauguin

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Paul Gauguin
Study for Breton Girls Dancing, Pont-Aven
Pastel and charcoal, with watercolor and opaque watercolor, on laid paper.
23 x 16 1/2 inches (584 x 419 mm)
Thaw Collection.

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Charles Gillet (1879-1972), Lausanne; private collection; Wildenstein & Co., New York and Paris; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 143, repr.
The Thaw collection of master drawings : acquisitions since 2002. New York : Morgan Library & Museum, 2009, no. 46, repr.


Attracted to Brittany by its low cost of living and the appeal of Breton culture, Gauguin traveled there in January 1888 for a nine-month stay. During the summer, he executed a painting of three young girls in local costume dancing in a field (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC). This lushly worked pastel is related to that painting, but while the colors here are acidic, those of the canvas are more naturalistic- raising the question of whether this sheet was preparatory for the painting or instead a later exploration of the motif of the two children, which the artist would use again in subsequent works. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

Associated names: 

Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.

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