Teaching How to Think

Where Do We Come From

What Are We

Where Are We Going

Paul Gauguin, D'où venons-nous Qui sommes-nous Où allons-nous, (1897, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Paul Gaugin inscribed the above title across the upper left corner of his 1897 painting; doing so in capital letters and without question marks. He stated the painting should be viewed from right to left, with the three major figure groups illustrating the questions posed in the title. The women with a child represent the beginning of life; the middle group symbolizes the daily existence of young adulthood; and in the final group, an old woman approaching death appears reconciled and resigned to her thoughts.
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