He flirted with other forms too, notably sculpture and ceramics, among others. Yet it was as a painter that he impressed the world, exerting a strong influence on the symbolist movement. He worked extensively on still life pieces, and his works exude a type of serenity. The colours of the landscape of Tahiti, where he lived out his days, are a strong influence on his work. There's an exotic sense of depth and peace in his many artistic pieces. The painting we're looking at is a great example of this. For one thing, it shows the painter's interest in oriental art forms. You can see a Japanese woodcut in this painting. Paul Gauguin was born in the middle of the 19th Century. Yet his influence continues to influence painters in the present day.

Warm, rich colours pervade this painting, the soft colours making a striking contrast with the more dramatic, deeper colours. The delicacy of the Japanese woodcut in the background is in contrast with the head-shaped vase, which looks roughly-hewn. This colourful craziness is a visual feast, with different types of art strewn about. A piece of natural art is flowers. The Japanese woodcut presents a completely different type of art and the rich hues in the painting present yet another aspect. It is true that as one moves closer to the equator, the quality of light differs from that in the more staid, northern-European lands. There's a sense of drama and exoticism in this painting.

The head-shaped vase appears to be a local art piece and the Japanese piece appears to be the soul of refinement and delicacy, as Japanese items very often are. This oil-on-canvas painting isn't so much a painting as an experience. The artist lived and breathed art for certain. He loved to gorge on it as a feast and presents for our pleasure different types and forms of art. The result is mesmerising. It's no surprise that the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, where this painting is housed, consistently refuses to lend his work to other museums, even temporarily. If we want to behold this masterpiece in reality, we need to visit Tehran.

Still Life with Head-Shaped Vase and Japanese Woodcut in Detail Paul Gauguin