Since 1891, year of his arrival in Tahiti, Gauguin thought of writing a book telling the impressions of his trip. He wrote the first draft in 1893, between his two stays in the tropics: Noa Noa, "flagrant" in Tahitian; "What exhales Tahiti," as the artist will explain later.
To complete this narrative combining reality and fiction, the artist required the help of the poet and man of letters Charles Morice.
The result of their collaboration is the manuscript preserved at the Musée d'Orsay: the artist copied the entire story, interspersed with vivos (poems in verse or prose) written by the poet, in a thick album bought for the occasion.
If he conceived from the beginning Noa Noa as a book "to read and to watch", Gauguin added most of the illustrations during his second Tahitian stay. The album bound by the artist in Tahiti was still largely incomplete: watercolors, engraved wood cut and glued thought from the outset for the edition of the book, later engravings enhanced with colors enrich his manuscript, without illustrating directly the text. At an unknown date, he decorated the cover of a fragment of watercolor stuck directly on the leather, accompanied by the title and its subtitle.
In 1896-1987, after the first text, he addes his manuscript for Diverses choses, which mixed texts and images (photographs, prints of Hokusai, caricatures of Forain ...).
The album will never leave the artist: found in his hut in Hiva Oa after his death in 1903, he is probably sent to Tahiti with other documents by Victor Segalen, before returning to France, where the friend Daniel de Monfreid recovered it in November 1904. He published it in 1924 to Crès editions, before giving it to the French government in 1927.
A true immersive experience, this newspaper has the scent of a change of scenery, mixing the image with the text, like genres and tones. Comprising drawings and collages, he fuses myth and reality in the crucible of the alchemist Gauguin.
Limited edition to 500 ex. and each book is numbered.
Includes 29 watercolors, 27 prints, 9 embossed pencil and watercolor drawings, 8 photographs, 5 watercolor monotypes, 2 pen and ink drawings, 1 pencil drawing, 1 wash drawing ink, 1 illustration from a magazine.