Date of Production



oil on canvas


Height: 60.5 cm (canvas)
Width: 116 cm (canvas)

Accession Number


Mode of Acquisition

Samuel Courtauld, gift, 1932


The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)


On display


Label Text

The two figures in the background and the ‘bird of the devil that is keeping watch’, as Gauguin called it, seem to be conspiring against the reclining woman. She lies awake, perhaps conscious of being watched. The title evokes Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, in which a poet, driven mad by the loss of his love, hears a raven repeating endlessly ‘Nevermore’. Here, Gauguin suggests the loss of innocence. He was deeply disappointed by Tahiti, where he had moved from Paris, hoping to find a primitive and unspoilt paradise. Instead, he found a society marred by corruption and colonialism.


Sent by Gauguin from Tahiti to Daniel de Monfreid, Paris, 1897; purchased from him by Frederick Delius, Paris and Gretz-sur-Loing, 1898; purchased from him by Herbert Coleman, Manchester, through Goupil Gallery, London, circa 1922; purchased from Coleman (price unknown) by Samuel Courtauld before July 1924; Courtauld Gift, 1932

Exhibition History

After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art, The National Gallery, London, 25/03/2023-13/08/2023

Masterpieces of Impressionism from The Courtauld Gallery, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 10/09/2019-15/12/2019; Aichi Prefectural Museum, Nagoya, Japan, 03/01/2020-15/03/2020; Kobe City Museum, Kobe, Japan, 28/03/2020-21/06/2020

The Courtauld Collection. A Vision for Impressionism, Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, 20/02/2019-17/06/2019 ...More

Courtauld Impressionists: From Manet to Cezanne, National Gallery, London, 17/09/2018-20/01/2019

Collecting Gauguin: Samuel Courtauld in the 20's, The Courtauld Gallery, 20/06/2013-08/09/2013

Paul Gauguin - Maker of Myth, Tate Modern & London & England, 30/09/2010-16/01/2011

Part of general displays, J Paul Getty Museum & Los Angeles & California & USA, 15/01/2003-28/04/2003

Into the 20th century - New Displays at the Courtauld, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 10/10/2002

Paul Gauguin: Paradise Lost, Essen & Germany, 01/06/1998-01/10/1998

The Courtauld Collection, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, 26/12/1997-12/05/1998

The Impressionists and after, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery & Birmingham & England, 1947 ...Less


Inscription: inscription : signed : top left & recto : : NEVERMORE / P. Gauguin 97/0. TAITI

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