Arts Everyday Living: Paul Gauguin—Dreaming of Childhood

Reposted blog.




Paul Gauguin, M. Loulou, 1890, oil on canvas, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA



I woke before the morning, I was happy all the day,

I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play.

And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood,

And I am very happy, for I know that I’ve been good.

My bed is waiting cool and fresh, with linen smooth and fair

And I must off to sleepsin-by, and not forget my prayer.

I know that, till tomorrow I shall see the sun arise,

No ugly dream shall fright my mind, no ugly sight my eyes.

But slumber hold me tightly till I awaken in the dawn,

And hear the thrushes singing in the lilacs round the lawn.

Paul Gauguin’s subject M. Loulou, is probably Louis Le Ray, the son of a couple the artist knew while he was living in Brittany.  Gauguin has signed his richly colored and imaginative work of art,  inscribing it with Loulou’s name and the word souvenir (or remembrance) in the upper corner on our left.

M. Loulou dated 1890, is contemporary to Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Good Boy (quoted above) from the writer’s beloved A Child’s Garden of Verses published in 1885.  Do you see the connection?

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), born just two years apart, both died on islands in the southern Pacific.

The above image is used solely for educational purposes.


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