Where Do We Come From? Who Are We and Where Are We Going To?

where do we come from? what are we? where are we going?
where do we come from? what are we? where are we going?

The painting Where do we come from? Who are and where are we going to  is the largest work of Paul Gauguin’s painting career. The significance of it is far more than all the previous works. Gauguin said he could not paint a better painting like this and also had the same value. Before his death, he devoted all his energies and efforts to this work.

There are various feelings of sadness that many painters experienced in numerous terrible environments. The eyes of Paul Gauguin were so bright and saw so truly and uncorrected. Therefore, all the traces of rashes and hasty were gone, what they saw was the life itself.

The entire landscape in the oil-painting is filled with stable blue and the Veronese’s green. All the nudes are prominent in front of the landscape with bright orange – yellow.

This large painting was completed by Gauguin in Tahiti in the South Pacific in 1897. According to the memory of Gauguin, he expected that through depicting the mirage what he saw when he was thinking to express the blend with him and the nature and his inapprehension of the mystery about the riddle of human come and go. So he put his heart and soul into creation and worked day and night for a month.

This is allegorical painting is commenced in a tropical jungle. There is a Tahitian picking wild fruits in the center which implies Adam picking the fruit of wisdom. Several women with babies are sitting to his right hand and two women in robe are having a heated conversation in the distance. The little girl, young woman and the old woman may symbolize the three different stages of life. There is a mysterious and eccentric statue in the background with some certain features of the Hindu gods. There are small cats, black goats, birds and lizards on the ground and it seems that they all have their own implications. Deep in the jungle is the sea, it makes people feel like it’s the ancient primitive legend from the colors and composition and has more mystique with such a title.

What is the value of human in the eternity between life and death, space and time? What is the meaning of life? Plain primitive life really can bring carefree joys of spirits? Paul Gauguin speculated those puzzles painfully, but in this painting, he represented his thoughts with visual images.