Paul Gauguin

Original Prints: Woodcuts


Between Pont-Aven (in the south of Brittany, where he first settled in 1886) and the South seas, Paul Gauguin (1848 - 1903) sought to develop a radical synthetist and symbolist vision that would change the face of modern art over the next century.  Yet as the tormented "savage" he soon became an archetype of the malediction of creative genius.

His original woodcuts, which he carved (and most often printed) himself, constitute a veritable revolution in the history of printmaking, foreshadowing the Fauvist predilection for this means of expression, with no real prior equivalents.


Paul Gauguin, Le Calvaire Breton, 1898-99, woodcut

Le Calvaire Breton

Wayside Shrine in Brittany

Guérin 68; Mongan, Kornfeld, & Joachim 50

woodcut, 1898-1899, a very fine impression,  with a narrow margin on the left (slightly trimmed into the subject, as usual, by the artist), signed in ink by the artist as "P" lower right, and numbered "28" below, exceptionally with ochre toning applied by the artist before printing


Paul Gauguin, Le Char à Boeufs, 1898-99 woodcut

Le Char à Boeufs – Souvenir de Bretagne

The Ox Cart Recollection of Brittany

Guérin 70; Mongan, Kornfeld, & Joachim 51

woodcut, 1898-1899 (?), a very fine impression, exceptionally with good margins on three sides, signed in ink by the artist as "PG" lower right, and numbered "2" below


Gauguin, Le Sourire (Titre), woodcut

Le Sourire (Titre)

Guérin 751;, Mongan, Kornfeld, & Joachim 58

woodcut, 1899, an exceedingly rare first state impression, not described in the catalogues raisonnés, though it has been identified as such with the help of the Art Institute of Chicago

Gauguin founded his own journal in Tahiti, which he began publishing in 1899, using the final state of this print as the headpiece.

         next artist  >