Paul Gauguin

By the Sea by Paul Gauguin

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By the Sea, 1892 by Paul Gauguin.Europeans were always fascinated by the Tahitian women's practice of bathing naked and at great leisure. Writers of the Enlightenment saw it as striving for purity and physical vigor in a wearing climate. On the other hand, the brown-skinned naiads made a distinctly erotic impression on French sailors, as George Forster observed: "The simplicity of a dress which exposed to view a well proportioned bosom and delicate hands, might also contribute to fan their amorous fire; and the view of several of these nymphs swimming nimbly all round the sloop, such as nature had formed them, was perhaps more than sufficient entirely to subvert the little reason which a mariner might have left to govern his passions."