Letter from “Paul Gauguin” to “Daniel de Monfreid”

Paul Gauguin, Where Do We Come From- What Are We- Where Are We Going-, 1897, oil on canvas, 139 × 375 cm (55 × 148 in), Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

I did not write to you last month, I had nothing new to tell you and could only have repeated myself, and besides I did not have the courage to do so. Then when the letter carrier came a little later, there was again nothing from Chaudet. Since my health is completely restored, and I therefore no longer have a chance of dying a natural death, I wanted to kill myself.

Blonde bather(s) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Auguste Renoir painted two similar versions of Blonde Bather (La baigneuse blonde) in 1881 and 1882, both of which are now published as private collections. The 1882 version is seen above on the left. The model was Aline Charigot, who later became Renoir’s wife. Inspired by Renaissance paintings (especially Raphael’s frescoes) in Italy in 1881, these works are clearly different in style from Renoir’s earlier works. Some commentators have called these works beautiful, while others have called them vulgar.