Gauguin and his Ta-heat-i babes



Excuse the god-awful pun.

If you're a blog trawler, you may have noticed that bloggers have been teaming up with Barclaycard to focus on what's hotter this summer. Well, if the weather can't pull its weight, the blogosphere ought to...

So what's hotter in art? This time next week, the National Portrait Gallery will open its doors to the anticipated Dame Laura Knight retrospective. The female artist painting in a world of male artists is perhaps most famous for her ballet and theatre depictions, but, being Cornish, she knew how to capture the light and heat en plein air. Check it out...

Dame Laura Knight, Rose and Gold

Ain't nobody shivering there.

But when I think of heat in art, my mind instantly goes to Paul Gauguin. He was a French post-impressionist painter who ditched his 1920s rat race life in Paris (including the wife and kids, naughty naughty) to live a hedonistic lifestyle pursuing the ladies of Tahiti. Quite the scandal. He daubed his years away, and was never fully appreciated until he was dead and gone.

Paul Gauguin, Deux Tahitiennes

The reason I associate Gauguin with intense heat is the fact that he picks up on high temperatures in a way no one but a non-native to a tropical climate could. His colours aren't light and breezy; his paint is thick and his tones and shades switch between bright and dark. Gauguin's heat is heavy and oppressing, which is ironic considering Tahiti was the paradise he ran away to.

Paul Gauguin, Maternity

London's Courtauld Gallery has a great permanent Gauguin collection, and is celebrating its temporary acquisition of two new pieces with a retrospective this summer. The first of the two late openings is tomorrow - see you there folks.

What artist or artwork signifies heat for you?

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