A white bust of Mette, Paul Gauguin’s Danish wife on a plinth
Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), Portrait of Mette Gauguin, 1877, Marble, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Portrait of Mette Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

This bust of Mette, Paul Gauguin’s Danish wife, is one of only two marble sculptures he ever made. The other is of their son Emil. Both were created early on in Gauguin’s artistic career. The finely ruffled collar and gap between collar and neck demonstrate a level of technique surprising in someone with no formal sculptural training. He was likely helped by a professional sculptor, Jules-Ernest Bouillot, his landlord at the time.

The marble is restrained compared to Gauguin’s later sculpture, especially his roughly chiselled wood carvings.

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Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)