National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Parau na te Varua ino (Words of the Devil) Paul Gauguin (artist)
French, 1848 - 1903
Parau na te Varua ino (Words of the Devil), 1892
oil on canvas
overall: 91.7 x 68.5 cm (36 1/8 x 26 15/16 in.) framed: 116.8 x 94 x 10.1 cm (46 x 37 x 4 in.)
Gift of the W. Averell Harriman Foundation in memory of Marie N. Harriman
On View
From the Tour: Paul Gauguin
Object 5 of 8


(Gauguin sale, Paris, 18 February 1895, no. 10, bought in). (Ambroise Vollard [1867-1939], Paris); sold on 30 May 1906, for 4000 francs, to Alexandre Berthier, 4th Prince de Wagram (1883-1918); [1] returned possibly due to non-settlement of bill to Vollard, stock no. 5453, by 1913; [2] Millet, Paris. Phileas Pluckett, Manchester. Paul Guillaume [1891-1934], Paris; sold 1930 to Marie N. Harriman [1903-1970] and W. Averell Harriman [1891-1986], New York;[2] the W. Averell Harriman Foundation, New York; gift 1972 to NGA.

[1] As revealed by a letter dated 11 June 1906 from Vollard to the Prince de Wagram recording: ‘tableau en hauteur femme nue se cachant le sexe; derrière l’esprit du mal, 4000 francs’, one among a bulk purchase of six Tahitian canvases made by the Prince on 30 May 1906. MS 421. Cited by Suzanne Diffre and Marie-Josèphe Lesieur in ‘Gauguin dans les archives Vollard du musée d’Orsay,’ Gauguin-Tahiti, L’Atelier des tropiques, Paris, 2003, p. 353.

[2]Lent by Vollard to the 1913 Armory show as Spirit of Evil and offered for sale there. (See Archives of American Art, Walt Kuhn Family Papers and Armory Show Records, 1.3 European Entry Cards and 1.4 Notes).

[3]According to Harriman collection cards in NGA curatorial files.

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