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Soyez amoureuses vous serez heureuses (Be In Love and You Will Be Happy)

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Carved and polychromed wood panel in original frame. "Soyez amoureuses vous serez heureuses" on arch amid figures and faces. Gauguin grasping hand of nude woman seated at left. Mourning female nude, cat and flowers at right.


1889 until 1893, with the Galerie Goupil (Boussod et Valadon), Paris [see note 1]. 1907, private collection [see note 2]. Émile Schuffenecker (b. 1851 - d. 1934), Paris; by 1928, his brother, Amédée Schuffenecker (b. 1854 - d. 1936), Saint-Maur; 1936, by inheritance to his niece (Émile's daughter), Jeanne Schuffenecker, Paris [see note 3]. By 1949, private collection (possibly Margaret Thompson Biddle, b. 1902 - d. 1956), Paris [see note 4]; June 14, 1957, posthumous Biddle sale, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, lot A, to Huguette Berès (b. 1914 - d. 1999), Paris, for the MFA for $33,887.71. (Accession Date: September 12, 1957) NOTES: [1] Gauguin consigned the sculpture for sale to the Galerie Goupil; in 1893 it was returned to him at the studio of Daniel de Monfried. See George T. M. Shackelford, introduction to Gauguin Tahiti (exh. cat. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2003), pp. 7, 10-11, and p. 342 (Chronology), and Christopher Gray, Sculpture and Ceramics of Paul Gauguin (New York, 1983), pp. 42, 195, and 207. [2] Lent from a private collection to the exhibition "Paul Gauguin" (Galerie Miethke, Vienna, March-April, 1907), cat. no. 6. Whether Schuffenecker already owned it at this time, and was the private collector listed in the catalogue, is not known. [3] In 1928, Amédée Schuffenecker lent the sculpture to Musée du Luxembourg and in 1932, he offered it for purchase to the French government. Upon his death the sculpture was inherited by his niece. See Anne Pingeot, "The House of Pleasure: Tahiti and the Marquesas, 1895-1903,” in Gauguin Tahiti (as above, n. 1), pp. 264-265. [4] The sculpture was lent from a private collection to "Gauguin, Exposition du Centenaire" (Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, 1949), cat. no. 80 and "Gauguin" (Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, February 15 - April 16, 1950), cat. no. 50. It may have been owned at this time by Margaret Thompson Biddle, in whose posthumous auction it was included in 1957.

Credit Line

Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund

French, 1889

Object Place


Catalogue Raisonné

Gray 076


95 x 72 x 6.4 cm (37 3/8 x 28 3/8 x 2 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Carved and painted linden wood