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The Call

The Call


Paul Gauguin

(French, 1848–1903)

Oil on fabric

Framed: 160.5 x 119 x 9.5 cm (63 3/16 x 46 7/8 x 3 3/4 in.); Unframed: 131.3 x 89.5 cm (51 11/16 x 35 1/4 in.)

Gift of the Hanna Fund 1943.392

Did you know?

Although known as one of the founders of modern art, Gauguin found inspiration in ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art. The woman with the pointing finger on the right side of this painting was taken from a figure on the Parthenon frieze.


Painted on a remote island in Polynesia a year before the artist's death, The Call belongs to a series of late works that explore the mysteries of life and death. Two women stand with bare feet, as if on sacred ground. One woman gestures to someone outside the picture, perhaps responding to a "call" from fate or destiny. Gauguin realized his ambition of painting from memory and the imagination through such mysterious, dreamlike images.

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