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Le tūpapa’u de Paul Gauguin : portrait de l’artiste en revenant

Abstract : The character of the ghost wearing a hood, named “tūpapa’u” or “varua'ino” according to the different art pieces, feeds much of Paul Gauguin's Polynesian work. This macabre figure, that takes its origin from the Maori folklore, fully surrounds his art in a repeated and morbid process. This creature seems to be the form chosen by his imaginary in order to exteriorize an unspeakable and unrepresentable terror: the one he feels towards death. This terror is reinforced by Gaugin’s feeling of a prematurely approaching death, due to illness and countless torments. But this character is also a phantasmatic image by which the artist sets up his future “coming back”: considered as dead as far as European art is concerned, the artist returns to life via the invigorating tropical land, passing from the darkness of oblivion to the light of posthumous glory.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 8:08:39 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 3:41:23 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02417114, version 1



Isabelle Malmon. Le tūpapa’u de Paul Gauguin : portrait de l’artiste en revenant. Fabula LHT (Littérature, histoire, théorie), 2019, 22. ⟨hal-02417114⟩



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