Paul Gauguin’s Te Fare achieves phenomenal $24.7m

Paul Gauguin’s Te Fare (Le Maison) led Christie’s impressionist and modern art evening sale in London on February 28. 

It achieved £20m ($24.7m), beating an estimate of £18m ($22.2m) by 11.1%.

Gauguin Te Fare

Gauguin painted Te Fare on his first trip to Tahiti in 1892 

The lot is one of around 60 canvases Gauguin produced on his first visit to Tahiti in 1892. He arrived there on a whim, after raising the funds to get there from an auction of his work in Paris the year before.

He returned to Europe in 1893 but struggled to readjust, losing both his wife and his patron.

He then went back to the island in 1895, where he lived out the rest of his days.

Gauguin had endured decades of hardship as a semi-successful artist in Paris.

Tahiti introduced him to a simpler way of life, as he explained: “In the end, I understand the language quite well, my naked feet, from daily contact with the rock, have got used to the ground; my body, almost always naked, no longer fears the sun; civilisation leaves me bit by bit and I begin to think simply.

“Every morning the sun rises serene for me as for everyone, I become carefree and calm and loving.”

Gauguin is now among the most in-demand artists in the world, a stark contrast to how he was viewed in his own lifetime. 

The record for his work is an extraordinary $300m, set for When Will You Marry? in a private sale in 2015.

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