Paul Gauguin Double Vase
Paul Gauguin, Double Vase 1886–7

I did a blog last week about Gauguin’s wonderful ceramic self-portrait as a severed head. Ever since doing pottery at school (…always a disaster!) I’ve admired anyone who works with clay. Some of my favourite objects in the Gauguin exhibition are his ceramics, such as this double vase with a Breton girl motif.  Gauguin took up ceramics in Paris between 1886 to 1887, working with the master potter Ernest Chaplet. He seems to have been interested in the artistic possibilities of clay and hoped that his ‘art pottery’ would provide a steady income (they didn’t of course…poor Gauguin.) Looking at them, it’s easy to see that Gauguin simply refused to conform to contemporary taste, creating something that even he acknowledged to be a little bizarre. In late 1886, he wrote to the French painter and etcher Félix Bracquemond: ‘If you are curious to see all the little products of my crazy ideas now that they’ve come out of the kiln, they’re ready - 55 pieces in good condition. You are bound to cry out in horror at these monstrosities but I am convinced they will interest you.’ What do you think? 



I really don't have time to read or write blogs.

Christine Riding

Dear all, Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate reading what you think. Best, Christine


This exhibition is fantastic; no two ways about it. A universal look at Gauguin's life and works drawing on research into his life in Europe and abroad proving the man was a genius and hugely influential to the world of art. I agree with Christine, his ceramics works stood out as bizarre and beautiful objects, taken directly from the mnind and not conforming to current trends. Let's face it - he loved controversy. I won't forget the beautiful (almsot vacant) gaze looking out at the viewer in Two Tahitian Women, Gauguin captures their unique islander facial features, skin tone and expression so well it held my attention and caused me to wonder who these women are. Amazing - Thank you TATE Modern.

Philip Watts

A retrospective of Gauguin's work has been long overdue and it was great to see the way in which a huge talent developed through the influences of post-impressionism to a unique and individual style that has become iconic to the modern world.

As a Tate member I am fortunate that I will be able to visit again and spend some time getting to know individual works.

Mike Coombs

The exhibition was absolutely brilliant. The work that had gone into bringing the collection together must have been massive. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the different styles of Gauguin through a relatively short period of time. The presentation and layout was superb. Well done. I suspect that no such exhibition will ever be put on at any time in the future. We are privileged.

Ronald De Preter

Dear Mrs Riding, I enjoyed the exhibition , interesting choice and good presentation. After the exhibitions of Munch and Van Gogh in the Royal Academy, and now Gauguin in the Tate Modern, I am looking for a major retrospective of the other important and revolutionary 19th century artist James Ensor, whose paintings, drawings and ethings captures the world, but still unknown in London, although his British roots !!! Kind regards

Ronald De Preter, Belgium