Tahitian Women Bathing, 1892. Paul Gauguin. Oil on paper, laid down on canvas. Robert Lehman Collection, 1975.
Dreaming of a paradise where he could “listen to the silence of beautiful tropical nights,” Gauguin set off for Tahiti in June 1891. While at first Tahitian Women Bathing resembles the artist’s Polynesian paintings, it was not painted in oil on canvas, but rather in oil on paper, and was begun as a sheet of working drawings. The large sheet was later mounted on canvas, retouched, and varnished, presumably to ready the work for sale.