The Seed of the Areoi by Paul Gauguin. In spring 1891 Gauguin traveled to the South Pacific island of Tahiti, then a French colony. He hoped to find an enchanting paradise, far from the modern metropolis of Paris. However, by the time of Gauguin's arrival Tahiti had been profoundly altered by French colonization: poverty and sickness were rampant. Still, in his paintings of the island Gauguin included elements of the imaginary, configuring Tahiti as a pre-modern land of leisure. His use of bright, flat, and unrealistic colors and his interest in recovering a "pure" subject, closer to nature, were greatly influential to the next generation of European artists, including the Fauves and German Expressionists.The Polynesian goddess sits on a blue-and-white cloth. Gauguin's style fuses various non-European sources: ancient Egyptian, Japanese, and Javanese. But there are also signs of the West, specifically through aspects of the pose derived from a work by the French Symbolist painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.