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Paul Gauguin is a savage who was not afraid to present his own vision of art to the world

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

One of the brightest representatives of the post-impressionism movement was Paul Gauguin - a man with a difficult faith and a huge passion for painting.

The future artist was born in 1848 in Paris at the height of political turmoil.

The Gauguin family was forced to emigrate to Peru, where he was brought up in the lap of luxury in the house of his mothers wealthy relatives.

The picturesque landscapes of the paradise tropics were deeply imprinted in the artist's memory for a long time, and when faith brought him back to France, young Paul had a hard time enduring the grey European routine. Therefore, at the age of 17, in the impetuous impulse of a childhood dream, he becomes a sailor and for several years he travelled to different countries (England, Patagonia, Polynesia).

Gauguin gave up a successful financial career for the sake of a ghostly dream.

After his mothers death, at the age of 24, he returned to Paris, where he became a successful stockbroker, got a family and managed to make a good fortune. Over time, Paul Gauguin began to take an interest in painting, his works were highly appreciated by the impressionists Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro.

In 1885, Gauguin left the stock exchange to entirely devote himself to art.

"Real painters do not paint things as they are... they paint them as they themselves feel them to be". Vincent Van Gogh

Undeniable impact in Gauguin's art career was his friendship with another brilliant artist of that time Vincent Van Gogh. Their relationship has gone through a whole range of emotions from mutual admiration to complete rejection and the famous quarrel with Van Gogh cutting his own earlobe.

Rejection by bourgeois society and the return to the lost paradise.

Unfortunately, breaking the classical ideas about painting is difficult for an artist. Despite the support of fellow Impressionists, Gauguin's artworks were rejected by bourgeois society. Having lost the opportunity to support his wife and five children, he was left alone to fight for his existence.

In 1891, Paul left for the island of Tahiti, where he looked for his own path in art to express his ideas. On the exotic island, the artist puts all his energy to convey his emotional experiences through the intensity of colour and hypertrophied images.

These works are characterized by large divided planes of bright colour and the absence of shadows, the two-dimensionality of the composition destroys the usual perception of the perspective of space, resembling a Gothic stained-glass window (cloison).

The artist again plunges into the atmosphere of the lost paradise, here he creates his most famous canvases.

In 1893, Paul Gauguin presented a series of these works for the wider Parisian public.

Gauguin's art was smashed to smithereens by critics, called simple, primitive, with an ordinary plot and with bright colours.

Gauguin laid the foundation for the development of new directions in art.

Despite the fact that he never managed to taste the sweet fruits of fame, the works of Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin became fertile ground for the emergence of new directions in art, and his name will forever remain in history.

Life only makes sense when you live it according to your will. Good and evil are nothing more than words. I always did what I wanted, this is my curse and this is my happiness ” Paul Gauguin

Today the most expensive painting by Paul Gauguin "When Will You Marry?" 1892 was sold for a record $300 million to a museum in Qatar.

(1) Picture on the left "When Will You Marry?"

(2) The painting on the right "Self-portrait with a palette" 1894


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