Monday, October 08, 2007

Search and rescue

We saw this reproduction of Gauguin’s Te Matete in the Statue Bargain Barn at Paraparaumu. On the back were labels showing it had been part of the Auckland Library’s lending collection and was officially on loan from April 1969 to December 1970. The reproduction was framed, we assume in the month before the first loan, at Mollers Gallery in Karagahape Road. If that were the case, it might have been in good company for a week or so as the exhibition McCahon’s McCahons was on show there that March. The practice of borrowing prints from public libraries must have been nearing an end in the seventies. The Gauguin was only lent eight times, each time for about three months at 45 cents a month. The original version of Te Matete was painted by Paul Gauguin in 1892, three years before his brief visit in August 1895 to New Zealand. It was an encounter that didn’t impress Gauguin at all: “it is cold, and I am bored, and I am spending money stupidly to no purpose.” If you want to see the original painting you will need to go to the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland. If on the other hand you hanker after a copy for your own living room, you can get a “hand painted reproduction with 100% satisfaction guarantee” by going here and ordering a GAP018.

Images: Top left, the Auckland Library reproduction at the Statue Bargain Barn and right showing the library labels on the reverse. Bottom left, Paul Gauguin Ta Matete (We Shall Not Go to Market Today). 1892. Oil on canvas. Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland and right, what clams to be a GAP018 but is more likely to be a bad photographic reproduction of the original - caveat emptor.