Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Portrait de l'artiste au Christ jaune

As one of the major artists of the 19th century and pioneer of modern art, Paul Gauguin needs no introduction. Or does he? There is much yet to discover about his technique and aesthetic.

Gauguin L’Alchimiste aims to show his work under a new light, focusing on the importance of experimentation in his creative process and the remarkable freedom and complementarity of his approach to painting, drawing, sculpture and ceramics. The exhibition also delves into his upbringing in exotic faraway lands and its lasting influence on his artistic sensibility.

The first part of the exhibit strives to create a sense of adventure through pieces suggesting the experimental and trial-and-error quality of his work, while the second follows a more straightforward structure with paintings and keepsakes from his Polynesian years playing off one another.

The show presents the master artist as a kind of alchemist in a nod to the vast range of materials he used through his career. It also reflects his life-long interest in mysticism, symbolism and the occult, which often guided his choice of subject matter and inspired the titles for his works.

The Grand Palais brings us a fresh opportunity to revisit and delve into the high-octane world of Gauguin’s multifaceted creative mind.

Gauguin the Alchemist, until January 22, 2018. Website:

From France Today magazine