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Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin was a major artist of the French postimpressionist period. The artist was at his best when he could paint what he called "natural" men and women living with their fears, faiths, myths, and primitive passions, and he created many such works while living on Tahiti from 1891 to 1893 and 1895 to 1901 and the Marquesas Islands from 1901 to 1903 in the southern Pacific Ocean. Gauguin was attracted to primitivism because in this style he could present clearly intelligible images using simple color harmonies to produce pictures that were decorative and pleasing to the eye. One of the important influences on the artist was Japanese art, as first seen by Gauguin at a presentation in Paris.

Little is known of Gauguin's early life except that he was born in Paris in 1848 and was taken to Peru as an infant because his father feared the political turn of events in France. His father died on that journey, and his mother continued on with Paul and his sister to Lima. Four years later they returned to Paris and settled in OrlTans. He had an early association with strange cultures which may account for his life-long attraction to the exotic. He claimed to have savage Peruvian ancestry, but this was mere pretension on his part. He spent some years in the naval service, but little is known about these years. However, his sea voyages set a pattern for roving adventure his whole life (Nicholls 5).

Gauguin's early artistic tastes were guided and informed by Gustave Arosa, a stockbroker, art collector, and photographer. When Gauguin's mother died in 1867, Arosa became his guardian. Arosa's home contained a large collection of pictures and photographs, and many of these appear as references in Gauguin's own work. With the intercession of Arosa, Gauguin obtained a position as a stockbroker and began work in 1871 at Bertin's bank. It was here that he met Emile Schuffenecker, a fellow stockbroker who remained a loyal friend long...

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Paul Gauguin. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:00, December 07, 2021, from