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Joys of Brittany (Joies de Bretagne) from the series Volpini
Paul Gauguin, 1889

Joys of Brittany (Joies de Bretagne) from the series Volpini

Paul Gauguin (1848 - 1903)

zincograph in black on yellow wove paper, 49.8 cm x 64.8 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)


This group of ten prints by the French artist Paul Gauguin takes its name from a certain Monsieur Volpini, owner of the Café des Arts at the 1889 World Exhibition in Paris. Young avant-garde artists were unable to show their work at the Expo’s official art show, so Gauguin and his friends organized an alternative exhibition at Volpini’s café. It was here that he first showed this series of prints.

The themes are loosely based on paintings Gauguin had produced in the previous years in Martinique, Brittany and Arles. The prints were a means, in other words, of publicizing his painted work. Theo van Gogh, who promoted Gauguin as an art dealer, knew that there was a demand for prints of paintings. Precise reproductions were inappropriate, however, for an experimental and innovative artist like Gauguin, so he produced these free interpretations instead, which were appreciated as works of art in their own right.

They were printed on bright yellow paper in a limited run. Although Gauguin intended them as a group, they were sold individually, which makes the Van Gogh Museum unusual in owning a complete series. Even the original cover, hand-coloured by the artist himself is still present.

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Object data

Object number
p2437gV2004
Dimensions
49.8 cm x 64.8 cm, 20.1 cm x 24.1 cm
Catalogue raisonné
Guérin 2, Mongan & Kornfeld & Joachim 7

Inscription/label

signature
Paul Gauguin
inscription
Joies de Bretagne by Gauguin, Paul
remarque
by Gauguin, Paul

Literature

  • Marcel Guérin, L'Oeuvre gravé de Gauguin, 1980, no. 2
  • Elizabeth Mongan, Eberhard W. Kornfeld, Harold Joachim, Paul Gauguin : catalogue raisonné of his prints, 1988, no. 7
  • Voorw. C. Griffith Mann, Axel Rüger ; Heather Lemonedes, Belinda Thomson, Agnieszka Juszczak ; met bijdragen van Chris Stolwijk, Moyna Stanton, Paul Gauguin : de doorbraak naar moderniteit, 2009, p. 119-124, 131-135
  • Ed. by Stephen F. Eisenman, Paul Gauguin : artist of myth and dream, 2007, p. 244-245
  • [medewerkers Van Gogh Museum], Van Gogh Museum : jaarverslag 2004, 2005, p. 7, 13, 41
  • Tobia Bezzola, Elizabeth Prelinger, Paul Gauguin : the prints, 2012, p. 29-49
  • [auteurs André Cariou, MaryAnne Stevens, Antoine Terrasse], L' aventure de Pont-Aven et Gauguin, 2003, p. 148-151
  • John Leighton, Chris Stolwijk, Sjraar van Heugten, Van Gogh Museum : a decade of collecting : acquisitions 1997-2006, 2006, p. 83
  • Gabriel P. Weisberg ...[et al.], Japonisme : Japanese influence on French art 1854-1910, 1975, p. 94-95
  • Ed. by Eric Zafran ; with essays by Stephen Kornhauser ... [et al.], Gauguin's Nirvana : painters at Le Pouldu, 1889-90, 2001, p. 22-25
  • Katalog Wolfgang Wittrock, Paul Gauguin : das druckgraphische Werk, 1979, p. 18-39
  • [Marianne Grivel], Gauguin et l'École de Pont-Aven, cop. 1989, p. 29-32
  • Richard Brettell ..[et al.], The art of Paul Gauguin, 1988, p. 130-143
  • Ed. by Jay A. Clarke ; with essays by Mary Weaver Chapin, Anne Higonnet, Richard Kendall ... [et al.], The Impressionist line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec : drawings and prints from the Clark, 2013, p. 84-99