i fell in love with this ondine by gauguin the first time i saw it. it's the color and the move- ment of it, yes, and at one point i realized about its lines, its uses of colors (inclu- ding the outline). but i think mainly it was the sense of surrender, probably the world's poten- tially best and worst thing.
i also now realize that it's the imperfection of it all i love too. the academy in france wanted perfection; that's part of why regular day-to-day humans were rarely portrayed; we saw gods and goddesses, kings and queens. and dogs. in this painting by firmin-girard, while japan's artifacts have been incorporated, he was a straight academician.
the japanese, along with all their other gifts, gave us real people, real bodies, and that's what i see in the gauguin. these catfish hunters from yoshitoshi taiso are far more related to gauguin's ondine than to girard's pampered sweetheart.