The House for Eating (Te Fare Amu)

The House for Eating (Te Fare Amu)

photo: Bruce M. White
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About This Work

Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903)
The House for Eating, 1895 or 1897
Polychrome woodcarving
24.8 x 147.7 cm. (9 3/4 x 58 1/8 in.)
Carved in the panel: TE FARE AMU PGO


Émile Schuffenecker (1851–1934); Amédée Schuffenecker (1854–1935), Paris, by 1928; by descent to Émile’s daughter, Jeanne Schuffenecker (1882–), Paris. [Katia Granoff (1895–1989), Paris, by 1949]. [Galerie Zak, Paris]; sold to Henry Pearlman, by 21 Oct. 1955; Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, 1983.

Critical Perspective

Gauguin moved to Polynesia in 1895, seeking a simpler life, and never returned to France. Upon his arrival in Tahiti he had a house and studio constructed in the traditional Oceanic manner, with a separate structure for cooking and eating meals - although it is not known whether this "House for Eating" decorated that room or another.

Gauguin carved this work in a style meant to suggest his vision of a "primal" Tahitian culture. The man with red hair may represent Gauguin (although the artist’s hair was dark), while the seductively posed woman at the left has been identified as a prostitute. The wood of this carving has recently been identified as sequoia.