Nafea faaipoipo (When Will You Marry?), 1892

The masterpiece When Will You Marry?, executed in Tahiti, shows two native young women in an unspoiled tropical landscape. By means of beautifully undulating lines, Gauguin simplifies their bodies into decorative forms that blend harmoniously into the vibrant planes of color making up their surroundings. The first woman, who is dressed in a loosefitting top with a low-cut neckline, leans invitingly forward. Her companion, by contrast, is chastely clad in a missionary’s dress and holds a plucked flower carefully between her fingers. To whom the question formulated in the title—“When will you marry?”—is addressed, they will not tell us. Only the flowers worn as decoration in their hair provide a symbolic clue. If a woman wears a flower behind her right ear, she is already spoken for. A flower tucked behind her left ear, on the other hand, means she can be wooed. Whether the second Tahitian wears a flower behind her left ear remains uncertain, however. In the background, at a substantial distance from the women, two more figures can be seen. What role they play in the pictorial narrative, we do not know. The complementary accents of color provided by their clothing—blue and orange—contribute directly, however, to the overall harmony of the painting.

Oil on canvas, 105 x 77,5 cm, Collection Rudolf Staechelin; Photo: Kunstmuseum Basel, Martin P. Bühler

How does this sound to you?

Complete the lyric & give the song’s Spotify URL and you could win one of 10 Spotify Premium accounts!
For conditions of entry, see below.

This painting sounds like...

Bastian Baker Pressefoto
Bastian Baker
Marc Sway_THE ONE
Die pure Neugier
Marc Sway
Nicole Bernegger
Nicole Bernegger
Susanne Stähr
Susanne Stähr für das LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Max Küng
Max Küng für DAS MAGAZIN
Franz Hohler
Eine grosse Ungewissheit
Franz Hohler
Raphael Bouvier
Raphaël Bouvier
Catherine Iselin
Catherine Iselin
Dominique Marcel Iten
Dominique Marcel Iten für Schweizer Radio SRF
Adam Green
Bernice bobs her hair
Adam Green
Danielle Bürgin
Danielle Bürgin für die TagesWoche
Alexander S. C. Rower
Alexander S. C. Rower
Die Erwartung
Berger + Stadel + Walsh
berger + stadel + walsh
SRF Radio 3
Urs Musfeld und Michael Schuler für SRF 3
Christian Lindenmann für SRF 1
Christian Lindenmann für SRF 1
John Bürgin für SRF Virus
John Bürgin für SRF Virus
Thomas Wild für SRF Musikwelle
Thomas Wild für SRF Musikwelle
Wera Wecker
Wera Wecker
Hella von Sinnen
Hella von Sinnen
Dj Pesa
DJ Pesa
Kathinka Beaumont
Unsere Besucher
Jan Sollberger
Jan Sollberger
Andi Rohrer Südstaaten
Andi Rohrer für SRF 3
Neal Whitmore_new
Neal Whitmore - The Montecristos/Marc Almond

Listen to these songs in full length and get this playlist