Paul Gauguin: An Erotic Life: Book by Nancy Mowll Mathews

Paul Gauguin: An Erotic Life

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ISBN: 9780300091090    Publisher: Yale University Press Year of publishing: 2001     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 336        Language: English
In this penetrating and daring biography of Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Nancy Mowll Mathews traces the themes of sex and violence through the artist's life, from the near-murderous quarrels of his grandparents,...Read more
In this penetrating and daring biography of Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Nancy Mowll Mathews traces the themes of sex and violence through the artist's life, from the near-murderous quarrels of his grandparents, to his abusive treatment of his wife, to his sexual encounters in French Polynesia in the 1890s. The book examines how Gauguin used these complex themes in his art and writings and how he carefully presented his erotic life in the autobiographical treatises Noa Noa (1893) and Avant et Apres (1903). The central drama of Gauguin's adulthood, his marriage to Mette Gad Gauguin, is assessed in detail, and with the inclusion of some of Mette's previously unpublished letters, both sides of the Gauguin marriage are presented for the first time. Mathews also provides fascinating new insights into understanding Gauguin's relationships with men and women and the roles that sexuality and aggression played in shaping his art. She also illuminates his homosocial, if not homoerotic, relationships with Vincent van Gogh, Emile Schuffenecker, and Charles Filiger.
Gauguin's genius resided not only in his forging of new artistic paths, Mathews concludes, but in his ability to bring his sexual fantasies alive for a large audience.
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About the author: Nancy Mowll Mathews
Nancy Mowll Mathews is Eugenie Prendergast Curator at the Williams College Museum of Art. She is the author of numerous books and has organised several... Read more
Nancy Mowll Mathews is Eugenie Prendergast Curator at the Williams College Museum of Art. She is the author of numerous books and has organised several major exhibitions on Impressionist and post-Impressionist art, including Mary Cassatt: A Life (ISBN 0 300 07754 8, pb. 12.95), published by Yale University Press.
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Review:
In this detailed, well-documented, and readable biography, Nancy Mowll Mathews throws the spotlight on Gauguin's erotic life, exposing the flaws, deceptions, and subterfuges that went with the...Read more
In this detailed, well-documented, and readable biography, Nancy Mowll Mathews throws the spotlight on Gauguin's erotic life, exposing the flaws, deceptions, and subterfuges that went with the public persona he constructed." Belinda Thomson, author of Gauguin and Gauguin by Himself.
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