Les Misères Humaines (Human Misery)

Dessins Lithographiques
Creation date
Mark Descriptions
Signed and dated in plate in reverse: P. Gauguin 89 Stamp on verso: "Vente des 19 et 20 juin 1984, Ader Picard-Tajan, (1) 261.80.07 Paris, Boutaric/Sérusier" Handwritten on verso in pencil: "Collections H. Boutaric"
11 1/4 x 9 in. (image) 19 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (sheet)
Credit line
Gift of Samuel Josefowitz in tribute to Bret Waller and Ellen Lee
Accession number
Not Currently On View
Deaccessioned on
December 17th, 2009
Musée de Pont-Aven
Transfer notes
Transferred to the Musée de Pont-Aven
Auction Sale Price - $35000

Gauguin's album of prints featured diverse subjects drawn from his work in Brittany, Martinique, and the two months he had just spent with Van Gogh in Arles.

The woman wearing a coiffe and the Breton-style gate in the background link this scene to Brittany. As Gauguin remarked: It is an impression of the vineyards that I saw in Arles. I put in some Bretons - so much for exactitude.

This image addresses a universal theme of the human condition. The pensive girl, head in hands, also appears in Gauguin's work from Arles and the South Seas.

Paul Sérusier [1863-1927], Paris and Châteauneuf du Faou; by inheritance to his widow, Marguerite Sérusier [1879-1950]; to her friend Paule Henriette Boutaric, Paris;{1} posthumous sale of Boutaric collection at (Ader Picard Tajan, Paris) in 1984;{2} Sam Josefowitz, Lausanne; given to Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1998.

{1}Paule Henriette Boutaric collaborated on the publication by Marcel Guicheteau, Paul Sérusier, Paris, 1976. "Collections H. Boutaric" appears in pencil on the verso.
{2}Ader Picard Tajan, Paris, "Tableaux Modernes, Dessins, Aquarelles, Sculptures, Estampes provenant de la succession P. Sérusier et de la succession de Mademoiselle Boutaric, 19-20 June 1984, lot. no. 477. A stamp from this sale appears on the verso.
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