We’ve had a number of comments on the blog about Gauguin’s relationship with his wife and family. As you probably know, this is one of the subjects that really divides opinion - was he right to pursue his destiny as an artist, even if it meant that his children would suffer financially and, with his prolonged absences abroad, grow up without him? I find myself pondering on this issue when I’m standing in front of this painting of four-year-old Aline, called ‘The Little One is Dreaming’, in Gallery 2 of the exhibition. Born in December 1877, Aline was Gauguin’s second child and only daughter with Mette. According to the biographer David Sweetman, Gauguin was ‘totally besotted’ by his baby daughter and, interestingly, remained so for the rest of his life. Can we see this intense emotional attachment in the painting? Is it a straightforward image of innocence or a dream-world, with the birds on the wallpaper above hinting at an imaginary or subconscious world? Or is there anything sinister about this world…what about the little clown doll on the right? (To quote Carrie Bradshaw from ‘Sex and the City’, ‘there’s nothing scarier than a clown’…) We also have a little scrapbook that Gauguin made for Aline in 1893, in Gallery 9. It is a strange and wonderful object, full of press cuttings, personal reflections, prints and sketches. Unfortunately Aline never received the book - she died in 1897 aged just 19. In April of that year, Gauguin wrote to Daniel de Monfreid from Tahiti: ‘Your letter arrived at the same time as a short but dreadful letter from my wife. She informed me bluntly of the death of my daughter, who was snatched from us in just a few days by a fatal attack of pneumonia. This news did not distress me at all, hardened as I have been for a long time to suffering; and then each day, as thought kept piling in, the wound opened up, becoming deeper and deeper, until now I am completely overwhelmed…’ Does anyone out there feel sorry for Gauguin?