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Spirit of the Dead Watching (Manao Tupapau), Fine Art
Spirit of the Dead Watching (Manao Tupapau), Fine Art
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Spirit of the Dead Watching (Manao Tupapau)

by Paul Gauguin

L'esprit des Morts Veille (Manao Tupapau)

Spirit of the Dead Watching (Manao Tupapau) from Fine Art, Prodi Art, ghost, soul, spirit, death, nude, woman, Paul Gauguin, Gauguin
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Image preserved at 90 % Move image
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Description
Paul Gauguin's 1892 Tahiti painting "Spirit of the Dead Watching" depicts his 13-year-old native "wife", Teha'amana, in a state of fear. According to Gauguin, she was lying motionless, naked, her face against the bed, her eyes exaggeratedly wide with fear when he returned late one evening. The painter attributed this fear to his own appearance, fearing that Teha'amana would confuse him with the demons and legendary spectres of his culture.

Some art historians see in this painting a reflection on colonialism and misogyny. Others believe that the painting's narrative was created to make the indecent subject matter more palatable to a European audience.

The painting appears in the background of another Gauguin work, his self-portrait with a hat, which testifies to its importance to the artist.

Gauguin's painting has given rise to various interpretations and discussions, ranging from the psychology of the model to the representation of colonial prejudices of the time.
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