French painter (1848-1903). Autograph letter signed "Paul Gauguin". [Tahiti]. 4to. 2 pp. In French.
$ 36,810 / 35.000 €
To his friend and patron, the painter and art collector Daniel de Monfreid (1856-1929), concerning Gauguin's friend, the ship's doctor Joseph Gouzer (1854-1901), and his dire financial situation. Gauguin reports that he had received a "charming letter" from Gouzer who was "completely enthusiastic about Daniel [Monfreid], a talented painter and independent spirit". Apparently, Gauguin had arranged a meeting between Joseph Gouzer and Daniel de Monfreid. Although Gouzer strongly recommended Gauguin to return to France in view of his poor health, the artist dismissed the idea: "He also talked to me about the necessity for me to return to France.
And with what - and - why do it. If I had been forced to return, I would not have gone this time unless I was crazy. But by the way, what Gouzer says does not have any consequences because he has more good will than good judgment". - Gauguin had met Gouzer when his ship, the Duguay-Trouin, anchored at Tahiti in 1896. He was among the few buyers of Gauguin's work in Tahiti when he bought "Three Tahitian Women" for 100 francs (today shown at the Metropolitan Museum in New York), as well as some drawings. One of the few photographs of Gauguin on Tahiti shows him in the company of Gouzer and two indigenous women. - In the second part of the letter, Gauguin describes his financial situation, aggravated by his poor health: "I have not a dime left and no credit for bread even with the Chinese. If I could walk, I would go to the mountains for a few days to look for food, but nothing. I was wrong not to die last year, it would have been better and now it's getting silly; this is, however, what I will do to the next courier if I do not receive anything. Right now, I owe 1900 f: therefore, if I receive something, it will be to plug the hole a little bit and to live two or three months and so on. This is not an existence anymore, and it is also what keeps me from healing". - In light of these hardships, Gauguin contemplates the potential financial relief he could get in France by selling his collection, but ultimately dismisses the thought: "Ah! If I were in France, I could easily respond [and] find money in little time; it is merely a question of price, the Van Goghs, the Cézanne and some of my paintings would take care of the problem promptly. There I am! I am starting to tell the same stories again ... uselessly [...]". In closing, Gauguin thanks Monfreid for a pair of shoes that he had sent: "I received the shoes, wonderfully made, but I cannot wear them until I am somewhat recovered; all shoes hurt me." - With recipient's note in crayon concerning a missing attachment. Traces of folds..