GAUGUIN, EUGENE HENRI PAUL. 1848-1903.
Autograph Letter Signed ("P. Gauguin"), 4 pp, 8vo, [Rouen, c.1883], in French, to Camille Pissarro, small neatly-repaired tear in margin glancing one letter.
Gauguin writes to his friend Pissarro, discussing Manet, Renoir, Sisley, and his own struggles as an artist. In part, translated: "I very much regret not having made it to the Manet exhibition but I am counting on you to fill me in on what was said. I've already seen an idiotic article in [the magazine] Gil Blas in which they say that all in all Manet had talent but it wasn't his own. Imbeciles! Because one loves the masters, one copies them. Manet was wrong to follow the Impressionists (the school founded by 'Renouard' and 'Ciseley' sic) ... You have to resign yourself to the inevitable: you only have talent once you're dead." Gauguin had been annoyed but also envious when his former housemate van Gogh had been posthumously celebrated.
Domestic and financial troubles occur time and time again: "Here, my wife is intolerable - finds fault in everything - sees no light at the end of the tunnel ... My meagre savings are seriously dented and I've got enough to live on for six months at most.
As for business (it's almost impossible to count on it) I absolutely must succeed with painting. On this front, my sister and plenty of others have of course sided with my wife, and so I don't have an ounce of talent ... I will be coming to Paris in April and at that time I will endeavor to sell whatever I've painted. I'm counting on you to introduce me to [the dealer Alphonse] Portier so that he can provide me with heating for a while. He sells the Vignons pretty well, I know.
I'm writing to you from the midst of penetrating baby screams and many other embarrassing things which might make what I'm writing incomprehensible."
Gauguin knew his friend Pissarro would relate to this tension between family responsibilities, the pursuit of art, and trying to remain in the black. Soon, his wife and children would leave him to go back to the financial security of her family, and Gauguin would flee to the tropics to escape European civilization.
Books, Maps and Manuscripts
Auction terms and conditions