Hina and Fatu, 1892

Gauguin took up the figures of Ta’aora, Hina and Fatu, three deities in Tahitian mythology, in several of his works. Ta’aora symbolizes the sun, the masculine and intelligence, Hina stands for the moon, the feminine and motherhood, while Fatu, their son, represents the god of the Earth. In Hina and Fatu,
Gauguin has represented the divine beings in two reliefs carved into a cylindrical piece of tamanu hardwood. The scene here facing the front shows Ta’aora and Hina standing in front of a tall winding plant, the rear scene Hina and Fatu opposite each other, knee to knee. Fascinated by the ancient myths and the sculptures of archaic cultures, Gauguin has here created a compelling work of the greatest intensity and suggestive power.


Wood of Calophyllum inophyllum, 32,7 x 14,2 cm, Collection Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, gift from the Volunteer Committee Fund, 1980; Photo: 2014AGO


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