was born in Paris
in 1848. His life as well as work has been seen as representing an all-out
rejection of western civilization. After staying and quarrelling with Van Gogh in
Arles, Gauguin made his
first journey to Tahiti in 1891 returning in
1894 and dying there in 1904.
He painted Day of the God on his return to Tahiti in 1894. The painting derives its theme from
Gauguins study of Polynesian mythology. The main figure is Taaroa, the central
figure of the Maori pantheon, the creator of the world. In his honor gifts are
being brought by two maidens on the left, while on the right two girls perform
a ritual dance. The three naked figures in the foreground seem to suggest creation,
especially the embryonic curl of the figure on the right.