Noa Noa (Embaume, Embaume) (Fragrance)


Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903)


ca. 1894


Woodcut in three colors on wove paper


Support/Overall: 15 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches (40 cm x 24.7 cm) Image/Sight: 14 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches (37.5 cm x 22.2 cm) Other (Matte Board): 20 x 16 inches (50.8 cm x 40.6 cm) Framed/Mounted: 21 1/4 x 17 1/4 x 1 1/4 inches (54 cm x 43.8 cm x 3.2 cm)


Purchase with funds from the Lawrence and Alfred Fox Foundation for the Ralph K. Uhry Collection

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Gauguin affectionately referred to Tahiti as “Noa Noa, the land of fragrant earth”—Noa Noa translates literally as “fragrant, fragrant”—and appropriated the term for the title of his memoir. Although Gauguin intended this print for the cover of his memoir, he was forced to print his text without images. Instead, Louis Roy produced a series of his woodcuts in a separate edition. The two dimensionality of the figures alludes to Japanese woodcut tradition and the linear nature of the scene evokes primitive art.

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