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Christmas Night (The Blessing of the Oxen)



On display in H206

Artwork Details

Creation Date
oil on canvas
Object Types
paintings, oil paintings

27-15/16 x 32-1/2 in. (canvas) 38-3/8 x 43 x 2-5/16 in. (framed, Optium)

Mark Description

Signed lower right: P. Gauguin

Accession Number
Credit Line

Samuel Josefowitz Collection of the School of Pont-Aven, through the generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc., the Josefowitz Family, Mr. and Mrs. James M. Cornelius, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard J. Betley, Lori and Dan Efroymson, and other Friends of the Museum

Public Domain

European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1945

Color Palette

Possibly from the artist to Victor Ségalen.{1} To (Ambroise Vollard [1867-1939], Paris, France) by 1906.{2} Probably via (Étienne Bignou [1891-1950], New York) to Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Small by 1956;{3} sold at auction at Christie's, London, England, by Sylvia Carewe [1914-1981], Marvin Small's ex-wife in 1966;{4} purchased by Douglas Cooper [1911-1984], London.{5} Probably directly from Cooper to Samuel Josefowitz by 1967;{6} acquired as a partial gift, partial purchase by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1998 (1998.169). {1} There is confusion over whether this painting could be the "Village sous la neige" listed in the last shipment of works sent by Gauguin from Tahiti to Vollard or the second "étude faite en Bretagne" acquired by Ségalen at the 1903 posthumous sale of Gauguin's belongings. See Georges Wildenstein, Gauguin, volume 1, Paris 1964, catalogue raisonné no. 519 (illustration) and Jean de Rotonchamp, Paul Gauguin, 1848-1903, Paris 1925, p. 221. {2} It was included in the 1906 Salon d'Automne exhibition, catalogue no. 69, "La Bénédiction des Boeufs", as Collection Vollard. See Donald Gordon, Modern Art Exhibitions 1900-1916, volume II, 1974, p. 172. {3} Vollard's friend and colleague, Étienne Bignou, had opened a New York branch of the Bignou gallery in 1935. In 1936 this painting was sent to New York by Vollard for the Wildenstein & Co. retrospective, Paul Gauguin, 1848-1903, 20 March-18 April 1936, catalogue no.7. On this exhibition, see also A.M. Frankfurter, "Gauguin: Fifty Paintings in a First American One Man Loan Exhibition," Art News, 21 March 1936, p. 6 (illustration) This painting was lent by "Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Small" to the Loan Exhibition Gauguin, Wildenstein, New York, New York, 5 April-5 May1956, catalogue no. 42 (illustration) {4} See Catalogue of Important Impressionist and Modern Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, 2 December 1966, lot 62 (illustration) {5} Published auction price list indicates it was purchased by Cooper. {6} It is listed as "M. et Mme. Samuel Josefowitz, Lausanne" in the exhibition catalogue Chefs-d'ouevre des collections suisses de Manet à Picasso, Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, 1967, catalogue no. 98 (illustration)

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