The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 1, 2024

The Large Tree

The Large Tree

(French, 1848–1903)
Framed: 92.4 x 112.7 x 6.4 cm (36 3/8 x 44 3/8 x 2 1/2 in.); Unframed: 74 x 92.8 cm (29 1/8 x 36 9/16 in.)
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

Gauguin positions four women in a friezelike sequence seeking shelter under the dark green leaves of a large tree while the leaves of the second tree add a decorative pattern to the pink thatched roof. With his brush, he captures contrasting elements of the tropical climate, sending the viewer into the cool shade to escape the hot sun.


Disgusted with the materialism of European society, Gauguin abandoned his family and career as a stockbroker and departed for Tahiti in 1891. This canvas is among the first paintings he completed on the island. Its rich colors and stylized figures were intended to be both symbolic and mysterious, evoking private thoughts and emotions. “I obtain symphonies,” he wrote, “harmonies that represent nothing real in the absolute sense of the word.”
  • 1927-1929
    (Reinhardt Gallery, New York, NY, 1927)
    (Leicester Galleries, London, United Kingdom, 1929, sold to Mr. Frank H. Ginn)
    Mr. Frank H. Ginn [1868-1938], Gates Mills, OH, by descent to this daughter, Barbara Ginn
    Mr. and Mrs. Frank Griesinger (Barabara Ginn), Cleveland, OH, given to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Bulliet, C. J. Apples & Madonnas; Emotional Expression in Modern Art. Chicago, IL: P. Covici, Inc, 1927. Reproduced: p. 98
    "Notes on the Color Plates." ARTnews 25 (May 14, 1927): 50-64. Mentioned: p. 50; reproduced: 61
    Pemberton, Murdock. Picture Book. New York, NY: A.A. Knopf, 1930. Reproduced: pl. 14
    Malingue, Maurice. Lettres de Gauguin à Sa Femme et à Ses Amis, Recueillies et Préfacées par Maurice Malingue. Paris: B. Grasset, 1946. Mentioned: p. 236
    Scherman, Harry, ed. Book-of-the-Month Club News (May 1948): cover. Reproduced: Cover
    Catalogue of Colour Reproductions of Painting from 1860 to 1949. Paris: Unesco, 1949. Reproduced: p. 77, no. 102
    Coe, Nancy. The History of the Collecting of European Paintings and Drawings in the City of Cleveland. Thesis M.A. Oberlin College, 1955. Reproduced: vol.2, p. 58
    Rewald, John. Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, 1956. Reproduced: p, 505
    Wildenstein, Georges. Gauguin. Paris: Les Beaux-Arts, Éditions d'Études et de Documents, 1964. Mentioned and reproduced: vol. 1, p. 172-173
    Mandel, Gabriele Mandel. L'opera completa di Gauguin. Milano, Iitaly: Rizzoli, 1972. Reproduced: p. 255
    Field, Richard S. Paul Gauguin: The Paintings of the First Voyage to Tahiti. New York, NY: Garland Pub, 1977. Reproduced: p. 71, no. 16; Mentioned: p. 58
    Henning, Edward B. "Woman in the Waves." ARTnews 83 (March 1984): 104-106. Reproduced: p. 106
    Griffin, Jonathan. Noa Noa: Gauguin's Tahiti. Oxford, UK: Phaidon, 1985. Reproduced: p. 19, fig. 8
    Hoog, Michel. Paul Gauguin, Life and Work. New York, NY: Rizzoli, 1987. Reproduced: p. 192, pl. 133
    Prather, Marla, and Charles F. Stuckey. Gauguin: A Retrospective. New York, NY: H.L. Levin Associates, 1987. Reproduced: pl. 60
    Barskai︠a︡, A. G., and M. A. Bessonova. Paul Gauguin in Soviet Museums. Leningrad, USSR: Aurora Art Publishers, 1988. Reproduced: p. 99
    The Bulletin of The Cleveland Museum of Art LXXVIII, no. Reproduced: p. 87
    Schneeberger, Pierre-Francis. Gauguin, Tahiti. Paris, FR: Bibliothèque des Arts, 1991. Reproduced: p. 16-17
    Robinson, William H. "Puvis De Chavannes's "Summer" and the Symbolist Avant-Garde." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 78, no. 1 (1991): 2-27. Mentioned and Reproduced: p. 21-22
    Hinson, Tom E. "Notable Acquisitions." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 78, no. 3 (1991): 63-147. Reproduced and Mentioned: p. 87
    Metken, Günter. Gauguin in Tahiti: The First Journey : Paintings 1891-1893. New York, NY: Norton, 1992. Reproduced: no. 5
    Smith, Nigel J. H. Tropical Forests and Their Crops. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Pr, 1992. Reproduced: p. 299, fig. 6.7
    Coven, Jeffrey, and Dore Ashton. Baudelaire's Voyages: The Poet and His Painters. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co, 1993. Reproduced: p. 134
    Chong, Alan. European & American Painting in the Cleveland Museum of Art: A Summary Catalogue. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1993. Reproduced: p. 82
    Zingg, Jean-Pierre. Les éventails de Paul Gauguin. Paris, FR: Editions Avant & Après, 1996. Reproduced: o. 57; Mentioned: p. 56
    Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico). Maestros del Impresionismo. México, D.F.: Istituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1998. Mentioned and reproduced: p. 90-93
    Kosinski, Dorothy M. The Artist and the Camera: Degas to Picasso. Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1999. Reproduced: p. 134, no. 122
    d' Argencourt, Louise, and Roger Diederen. Catalogue of Paintings. Pt. 4. European Paintings of the 19th Century. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1974. Mentioned and reproduced: v. 1, p. 280-282, no. 101
    Salvesen, Britt. Gauguin. Chicago, IL: Art Institute of Chicago, 2001. Reproduced: p. 63, fig. 24
    Lemoine, Serge. From Puvis De Chavannes to Matisse and Picasso: Toward Modern Art. Milano, IT: Bompiani, 2002. Reproduced: p. 332, fig. 37
    Greub, Suzanne. Gauguin, Polynesia. Munich, Germany: Hirmer, 2011. Reproduced: p. 195, fig. 169
    Childs, Elizabeth C. Vanishing Paradise: Art and Exoticism in Colonial Tahiti. Berkeley, CA : University of California Press,2013. Reproduced: pl. 7
  • Masters of Impressionism. Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico (November 17, 1998-February 28, 1999).
    Degas to Picasso: The Painter, the Sculptor and the Camera . San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (organizer) (October 1, 1999-January 4, 2000); The Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (February 1-May 7, 2000); Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, 48001 Bilbao, Spain (June 12-September 10, 2000).
    Verso l'Arte Moderna, da Puvis de Chavannes a Matisse e Picasso. Palazzo Grassi spa, 30124 Venice, Italy (organizer) (February 10-June 16, 2002).
    Monet to Dalí: Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (October 21, 2007-January 13, 2008).
    Gauguin and Polynesia: South Pacific Encounters. Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (February 14-April 29, 2012).
    Van Gogh Repetitions lend-back. Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy (October 12, 2013-June 1, 2014).
    Paul Gauguin: Painting Like God. Fondation Beyeler, CH-4125 Riehen/Basel, Switzerland (organizer) (February 7-June 28, 2015).
    Paintings from El Greco and Rembrandt to Cézanne and Matisse. Reinhardt Galleries, New York, NY (1927).
    French Art since 1800. Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (1929).
    A Loan Exhibition of Paul Gauguin. Wildenstein Gallery, New York, NY (1946).
  • {{cite web|title=The Large Tree|url=false|author=Paul Gauguin|year=1891|access-date=01 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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