Few people have done as much to broadcast Tahiti’s charms to the world as French Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin, who moved to the island in 1891. The artist was intoxicated by the vivid colors, teeming vegetation and dazzling light of his new home, and no less fascinated by Polynesian culture. In the ensuing rush of inspiration he produced some of his best-known works.
While the Paul Gauguin Museum has no original oils by the artist, the smaller-scale works on display – prints, drawings, carvings – are testament to his passion for island living. Further exhibits illustrate his life in Polynesia through photographs, letters and other documentation.
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The Paul Gauguin Museum (or Musée Gauguin) is in the town of Papaeari, on Tahiti’s south coast, a half-circle round the island from Papeete. While there, make time to visit the nearby Botanic Gardens established by American Harrison W. Smith in 1919.