PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903)
PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903)
PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903)
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PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903)
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PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903)


PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903)
signed 'PGo' (on the right shoe)
carved wood
length: 11 1⁄4 in. (28.5 cm.)
Carved circa 1890
Claude-Emile Schuffenecker, Paris, and thence by descent.
Private collection, Paris.
Wildenstein & Co. Inc., New York.
Private collection, by whom acquired from the above in 1977; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 4 May 2011, lot 159.
Private collection, London, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2014.
Album Schuffenecker, Cabinet des Dessins, Musée du Louvre, Paris (illustrated).
M. Puy, "Paul Gauguin," in L'Art Décoratif, April 1911, p. 188 (illustrated).
C. Morice, Paul Gauguin, Paris, 1919, p. 18 (illustrated).
C. Gray, Sculpture and Ceramics of Paul Gauguin, Baltimore, 1963, no. 82, p. 201 (illustrated).
(Probably) Paris, Galerie Nunès et Fiquet, Paul Gauguin, March 1917, no. 32 (titled 'Paire de sabots de Bretagne').
(Probably) Paris, Galerie L. Dru, Exposition rétrospective de P. Gauguin, Peintures, bois, céramiques, gravures, dessins, April - May 1923, no. 62.
Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Gauguin, Artist as Alchemist, June - September 2017, no. 45, p. 125 (illustrated; dated '1889-1890'); this exhibition later travelled to Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, October 2017 - January 2018.
Further details
This work will be included in the forthcoming Paul Gauguin Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.

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Lot Essay

Gauguin was intrigued by the customs of the Breton people and their harmony with the surrounding nature. While in Brittany, he focused on motifs—a young woman in traditional dress, cows, geese and sheep—which fixed the character of the region and its people in his mind. Carved in 1890, right before the artist’s first trip to Tahiti, the present pair of sabots depict Breton women (right) and geese (left). The subject is a pertinent one for Gauguin, which figures in many of his major paintings from the period. The seated woman in Breton Shepherdess, for example, appears again, more abstractly, as the carved decoration of the right shoe, and the pairing of the woman with a goose is also illustrated in Bretonne et oie au bord de l'eau.
Gauguin delighted in wearing the wooden clogs. He 'caused a sensation by wearing Breton shoes in Paris,' according to Charles Morice (quoted in C. Gray, Sculpture and Ceramics of Paul Gauguin, New York, 1980, p. 200). 'I like living in Brittany; here I find a savage, primitive quality,' Gauguin wrote to his painter friend Claude-Emile Schuffenecker, the first owner of the sabots, in February 1888. 'When my wooden shoes echo on the granite ground, I hear the dull, muted, powerful sound I am looking for in painting' (D. Guérin, ed., Paul Gauguin: The Writings of a Savage, New York, 1978, p. 23).

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