Here we find a beared man carefully writing or drawing by himself. He wears a small hat, with glasses. An arm comes across his body, though the angle does not quite look right. Shadowing is added across the left hand side of his face, allowing us to pinpoint the angle of light, persumably coming from a window to our right. His hand pokes in from the bottom of the drawing and the rest of the composition is left entirely blank.
Here we find Gauguin practising his art, something that he did throughout his career as he was self-taught in some aspects. Portraiture can be described as his most important genre, and this format requires considerable study, even for the most naturally gifted artist. Gauguin perfectly understood this and so would regularly be found with small sketchpads from which he could work whenever he wished, both indoors and outdoors. He would sometimes capture portraits of his family, and in other cases venture outside into his local landscape. Gauguin would also prepare paintings using chalk or graphite, both with study drawings and also by drawing directly on to his canvases to give an approximate layout for each piece. As such, his use of sketching served several different purposes across his lifetime.
The Tate own this item in the UK but it is not currently on display, at the time of writing. Many of their drawings are kept in storage and only shown occasionally, partly because the public tend to be more interested in paintings and sculptures, but also because invariably they are fairly fragile items that need to be protected for the long term. The Tate itself boasts several different venues which are located around the country, though London has the biggest two, with the Tate Modern and Tate Britain which rank as two of the most visited galleries in the world. They have continued to invest in both the collection but also in the buildings themselves in order to expand display areas and keep their services as modern as possible. Both galleries offer free access to their permanent collections and this helps to continue the public's love affair with art and ensure that as many people can appreciate it as possible.