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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

... and a half eaten guava



This for Gauguin was The Promised Land,
so why the need for him to rearrange
what Nature, greatest artist of us all,
had made with such astounding flair?

This is no meal - see what he's done?
Two different paintings crunched up into one.
Two registers: still life and portraiture,
bananas eating too much space - and over done.

The children, not surprisingly, show not
the slightest interest in Gauguin's spread,
look neither hungrily nor lovingly
at what we were to think was meant for them.

A painting from his early Eden days -
before he'd learnt its prelapsarian ways..
Later he forbore to blatantly contrive
and painted that which Nature spread for him.

......................................................................

The image of Gauguin's The Meal was supplied as prompt by http://www.magpietales.blogspot.co.uk/ Magpie Tales.

29 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

I had not looked at this painting as two squidged together before. Now, not only will I look at it this way I will also be looking for similar errors in other art works. The power of the pen. The power of your pen.

Daydreamertoo said...

I didn't think the fruit looked inviting at all, and the kids couldn't raise a smile between then three of them. LOL
Not a happy painting at all. Nicely said Dave!

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Aaah, so I was not the only one to question this work by Gauguin? You did it more poetically and critically.

Tabor said...

I had never looked at this painting before,but your critique is certainly worth thinking about. I find his paintings a bit bold and huge for me. I lived in the South Pacific and I think he failed to capture its romance well.

Laurie Kolp said...

I like your unique critique, Dave...

jane.healy said...

I was reminded of disinterested children too!

Nice piece.

Brian Miller said...

that is a very interesting thought in it being two pictures put together...also from two different periods in his art...you might be onto something here sir dave

haricot said...

Stunning point of view! Gluttony is a deadly sin, though repletion is heavier for sin?

Kathe W. said...

ahah- I never saw the two squinched together paintings- good eye!

Berowne said...

Face it, Dave, you can write...

kaykuala said...

Now that you've said it, Dave, you may be on to something. There may lie a secret to be discovered!

Hank

Bee's Blog said...

I saw blank expressions but never thought of this as being a two in one painting. Now you have made sense of it for me.

Helen said...

Nice perspective on this Gauguin painting ... I saw all of the vibrant colors, didn't look beyond as you did.

zongrik said...

i like how you knew (or many researched) that this was one of the early poems, and that it was contrived.

some think the kids might not have been there with the still life. that is, this could be a combination of two paintings.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Splendid picture, and I enjoyed the poem, in particular "Eden"..with "its prelapsarian ways.."

Carrie Burtt said...

You certainly took a deeper look into the painting that I did.....great writing Dave! :-)

Tess Kincaid said...

Interesting critique of Gauguin, Dave...

Kat Mortensen said...

This feels like a lesson, but it's an ingenious approach to the painting and prompt.
Do you watch "Jeopardy!"? Inevitably, when they get an Art category up there, it's always the same guys - Rodin, Degas, Van Gogh, Monet and good old Gauguin.

I love the comment on the bananas, and I have to agree.
"prelapsarian" is new to me, but not for long!

Stafford Ray said...

Nobody's perfect, thank goodness. But maybe he was saying something critical about Polynesian rituals like the Kava ceremony, kava being the local drug of choice, discouraged by the Christian evangelists that flooded into Paradise bringing clothes and wowserism!
Maybe, as you suggest, his later work that accepted Tahiti more fully, was done under the calming influence of kava!

Kat Mortensen said...

Ah! (just musing on that word, "spread" now)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Good one, Dave. The kids dont look happy and the bowls look empty.......I love your closing lines very much.

Windsmoke. said...

Never thought of looking at a painting as both a still life and a potraiture until now :-).

cloudia charters said...

You get inside. . . .



Warm Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } (°>

Dulcina said...

Your title refers to the only thing I like in this painting.
I agree with your description and critique on Gauguin's work: a meal which is no meal, yes! That's why I prefer the other title, "The bananas".
:)

Dave King said...

Thanks to you all
for the many kind words and interesting comments, all of which I have taken in with great enthusiasm. They are a splendid set of replies - as, indeed, they invariably are. Once again though, I am not able to reply to you all individually, which is particularly frustrating when there are new visitors or occasional visitors included. Please accept my apology and be assured that you are most welcome; it is good to have you aboard.

Ygraine said...

I wondered why this painting appeared so lifeless.
Now I understand!
Thank you for enlightening me, Dave:)

Jinksy said...

I must say, the painting struck me as a pastiche, too - you explained it beautifully, though.

Kutamun said...

Gauguin the control freak! , glad he learned to relax out there

Karen S. said...

and thank goodness he shared his beauty with us!