The style of art that Paul employed was cloisonnism, a post-impression art utilizing separation of bold and flatforms by contours. Merahi Metua no Tehamana (The Ancestors of Tehamana or Tehamana has many parents) is a portrait by Gauguin painted in 1893. Tehamana has many parents, referring to her having her natural parents as well as foster-parents as per the Tahitian customs during the marriage. The art is currently at the Art Institute of Chicago. The portrait is of Tehamana, a Haitian native, and Paul's wife. Gauguin painted the art after leaving Tahiti and was interpreted as his farewell to the island. Tehamana was one of Gauguin's best models as she was featured in many art forms during this period. The painting represented his feelings towards the island and its culture. It shows Tehamana dressed elegantly in a dress in a prom dress that was imposed onto the natives by the European missionaries. She is also carrying a plaited palm signifying her beauty. She wore a red tiara (Gardenia taitensis) on her left ear representing her married status in the community.
The two ripe mangoes placed to her right on a low table are a representation of her fertility. It also signifies the Tahiti island's bounty. On her shoulders are images of heads, which are evil spirits. It suggests a dialogue between good and evil or life and death. To the right of Tehana stands an idol, a representation of Hina. Hina is borrowing from Hindu sculptures representing the gesture of life. The adoption of Hina suggests Haitians descending from Hindu ancestry hence the title, the Ancestors of Tehama. Tehamana is seated with a background showing glyphs at the top of her head. These were later suggested to be Rongorongo glyphs originating from Eastern Island. Paul's glyphs are imaginary and the glyphs were discovered much later though they've never been deciphered. This confirms the portrayal of Paul of Tahitian culture as impenetrable and guarded.
The representation shown on the portrait of the fruit, Tehamanas glance, flowers, the goddess, and glyphs suggests strong bonds that are enigmatic between the figures giving a perception of connections between the dead and the living, the past, and the present as well as the spiritual and real world. The other inspired portrait of Tehamana is a sculpted head hollow mask found in the Musee d'Orsay. Gauguin was considered a Post-impressionist artist and painter and his art and works inspired and influenced a lot of movements and other great painters alike. Gauguin influenced artists in the 20th century such as Pablo Picasso, Andre Derain, Henri Matisse, and Georges Braque. Paul also influenced movements that came up after his death like Fauvism, Orphism, and Cubism.