Christopher Howse: Gauguin’s day to wrestle with God

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gauguin first showed his mature style of solid, simplified shapes and bold, non-naturalistic colour in Vision of the Sermon. It was 1888, he was 40, and, unknown to himself, had under 15 years to live.

The painting is on show in London at the Tate Modern's "Gauguin: Maker of Myth". It belongs to the National Gallery of Scotland, in Edinburgh, where I usually look at it when I'm in the city.

It is a striking image, with its red ground and clumped white head-dresses in the foreground. But, stranger is its Christian religious theme. Gauguin drew up a scathing critique of the Catholic Church, summarised in L'esprit moderne et le catholicisme, written in 1898 in Tahiti. In it, he lambasted the blindness of Catholicism in the face of the rational claims of true science.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchArtHistoryReligion & Culture

Posted October 11, 2010 at 7:20 am

To comment on this article: Go to Article View

The URL for this article is

© 2017 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com

<< Back to main page

<< Return to Mobile view (headlines)