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Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Todd Powelson
"Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?" - Paul Gauguin

One of my favorite paintings is Paul Gauguin‘s “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?”. The painting is meant to be read from right to left and shows the different periods from a woman’s lifetime. The three women on the right show the beginning of that life, the group in the middle symbolizes the journey through adulthood, and the final figure is an old woman reflecting on and coming to grips with all she has been through.

This image often flashes in my minds eye, especially the central figure. The way she grabs that fruit, maybe from the Tree of Knowledge for all I know, with no regrets… getting ready to take a bite. I think she is beautiful. This painting, and all the women in it, are beautiful.

Todd Powelson
Todd Powelson works as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Visual Artist.

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