The life of Paul Gauguin is one of the richest and most mythic in the history of Western art. A banker and "Sunday painter," he left behind family and homeland and sailed to the South Seas, seeking a life "in ecstasy, in peace, and for art." Gauguin Tahiti , the first major retrospective of the artist's work in fifteen years, offers an in-depth study of the fabled Polynesian years that have so defined our image of the painter. Alongside essays by leading American and French critics on every aspect of Gauguin's art, from the legendary canvases to his sculptures, ceramics and innovative graphic works, are discussions of the Polynesian society, culture and religion that helped shape them; an in-depth biographical narrative of the artist's life, with the many epiphanies, frustrations and discoveries that make his time in the South Seas one of the most mythologically potent episodes in the history of Western art; and a chronicle of his changing fortunes in the century since his death. At the center of it all is Gauguin's 1897 masterpiece, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? , the summation and crowning glory of his mature career, presented with unprecedented depth and authority. Over one hundred years later, Gauguin remains one of the most enigmatic and attractive figures of 19th-century art, the very pivot of modernism, and Gauguin Tahiti finally portrays this crucial period of his life in all its color and drama.