- Paul Gauguin
- 款識：畫家簽名 Paul Gauguin（右下）
Private Collection, France (acquired by descent from the above. Sold: Sotheby's, London, 29th November 1994, lot 36)
Purchased at the above sale by the late owner
Paris, Grand Palais, Salon d'Automne, 4ème exposition: Œuvres de Gauguin, 1906, no. 38
Paris, Musée de Luxembourg, Sculptures de Gauguin, 1927, no. 49
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art; Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago & Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand-Palais, The Art of Paul Gauguin, 1988-89, no. 252, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Linie, Licht und Schatten. Meisterzeichnungen und Skulpturen der Sammlung Jan und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 1999, no. 109, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, The Timeless Eye. Master Drawings from the Jan and Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski Collection,1999, no. 133, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Miradas sin Tiempo. Dibujos, Pinturas y Esculturas de la Coleccion Jan y Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2000, no. 145, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, La Passion du Dessin. Collection Jan et Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2002, no. 131, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais & Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Gauguin au Tahiti - l'atelier des Tropiques, 2003-04, no. 182, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Vienna, Albertina, Goya bis Picasso. Meisterwerke der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2005, no. 77, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Munich, Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Das Ewige Auge - Von Rembrandt bis Picasso. Meisterwerke aus der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2007, no. 132, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Ronald Pickvance, The Drawings of Gauguin, London, 1970, illustrated pl. 103 (titled Tahitian Couple Walking and as dating from circa 1901)
Richard S. Field, Paul Gauguin: Monotypes, Philadelphia, 1973, no. 105, illustrated p. 126 (as dating from circa 1902-03 and with incorrect medium)
The importance of this work is also commented on by Richard S. Field in his definitive book on Gauguin's monotypes: ‘Adam and Eve may well be the last major monotype Gauguin executed. Together with the two versions of L'Esprit veille of 1900 [Field, nos. 66 & 67] and La Fuite of 1902 [Field, no. 104] it must be reckoned as one of Gauguin's most impressive drawings’ (R. S. Field, op. cit., p. 38).
Both the figures in this work have a clear art historical source, appearing to derive from the figures of warriors on Trajan's Column in Rome (fig. 1). Gauguin is known to have taken a photograph of a detail from Trajan's Column with him to Tahiti (ibid., p. 126).
The male figure in this transfer drawing recurs in a number of other paintings, prints and transfer drawings, appearing for the first time, accompanied by a dog, in an oil painting of 1896, entitled Scène de la vie tahitienne (fig. 2). As Richard Brettell commented: ‘This figure is shown in every other representation carrying something - an axe or some bananas. Here he holds a stick that repeats the curve of a branch above the figures. The female figure, also derived from a male soldier on Trajan's Column, does not reappear in Gauguin's œuvre. With their companion dog, the two figures seem to stride purposefully toward a destination we can only guess. The head of the male figure is covered with a hood and the face is deeply shadowed, and the female figure looks slightly upward in a manner that is focused. Like many of Gauguin's late works, this one could easily be titled Where do we come from?, What are we? or Where are we going?' (R. Brettell, op. cit., p. 454).