'Sister of Charity' by Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin, 'Sister of Charity'

Paul Gauguin, 'Sister of Charity',  © Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Bequest of Marlon Koogler McNay

Painted in the final year of Paul Gauguin's life, this scene shows a Catholic nun with people of the remote Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. Gauguin campaigned against the Church for destroying Marquesan art and culture. In 'Sister of Charity', Gauguin evokes rather than describes the scene, which is typical of his work.

The British artist Walter Sickert especially admired of this painting, noting in particular "the pose of the figure holding a dish behind the little nun".

This picture was exhibited as 'La Réligieuse', catalogue number 19, in the 1911 exhibition, lent by the dealer Ambrose Vollard.