Gauguin's highly influential Noa Noa (a Tahitian wird meaning "fragrance") was begun in France after he artist returned in 1893 from his first stay in Tahiti. An already edited manuscript, augmented by the collaborating author Charles Morice, was taken by Gauguin with him on his second trip to Tahiti in 1895. There, he pasted prints into the manuscript and drew ink and watercolor drawings over the text. The text is based on an earlier Gauguin manuscript, L'ancien culte mahori. It is the illustrations, however, which make the book memorable. "To whatever extent Gauguin is indebted for his literary inspiration, his visual interpretation of this primitive culture in powerful rhythmic and totemic designs is distinctly his own. Althought finally published as a facsimile, Noa Noa represents an important project in book-making by this major artist" (Artist and the Book). "Noa Noa was never published as Gauguin had conceived it, but its elements influenced subsequent art and artists' books for many years" (Castleman).
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