Avant et après

Image credit: © The Courtauld

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An autograph manuscript for Gauguin’s last literary work, 'Avant et après', made in Atuana, Marquesas Islands, during January–February 1903. The object is a handwritten hardcover notebook. 'Avant et après' is the last major manuscript by Paul Gauguin. Part-memoir and part-manifesto, the 213-page manuscript reveals important insights into Gauguin’s life, relationships and thoughts, and includes numerous drawings and prints by the artist. It was written in 1903, the year of the artist’s death, at his home on the Marquesas island of Hiva Ova, French Polynesia. In addition to anecdotes about his friendships and opinions on the work of Degas, Pissarro, Signac and Cézanne, a key section in the manuscript reflects on the period that Gauguin stayed with Vincent van Gogh in Arles.

The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)



Avant et après




pen & black ink on wove paper


H 20.7 x W 29 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

accepted in lieu of Estate Duty by HM Government and allocated to The Courtauld, 2020

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The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Somerset House, Strand, London, Greater London WC2R 0RN England

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