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Te Nave Nave Fenua
(The Delightful Land)

oil on canvas
Ohara Museum of Art, Okayama

Gauguin owned photographs of the sculpted frieze from the Buddhist temple of Borobudur on the Indonesian island of Java. He appropriated the pose of the central figure in the frieze for that of Eve, whom he set in a tropical Eden. Gauguin made several changes to accommodate the Tahitian setting: the tempter appears as a winged lizard, and the apple offered to Eve in Western images of the Fall has been transformed into a beautiful flower (neither snakes nor apple trees exist in Tahiti).

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