Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848 – May 8, 1903) was born in Paris, France. Artist. He is considered one of the leading representatives of post-impressionism, including Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Georges Pierre Seurat, Camille Pissarro, Paul Sinyak and others.
Gauguin became interested in art in the early 1870s. During this period he acquired various Impressionist works of art and took courses, after which he came into contact with artists such as Camilla Pizarro, with whom he began to work. His early works, influenced by Impressionism, were exhibited at the Impressionist Exhibition of 1879. Towards the end of the decade he was confronted with serious economic and family problems that damaged his reputation. During this period his work changed radically, an event influenced by his relationship with Vincent Van Gogh and his trip to Martinique. His most famous paintings: The hay on the Iéna bridge (1875), Rouen, the blue roofs (1884), the laundries of Arles (1888), the green Christ (1889), Manao Tupapau (1892) and where did we arrive? About us? Where are we going? (1897).
Son of Clovis Gauguin and Alina Chazal, his father was a French journalist and his mother an indigenous Peruvian. After Napoleon III’s coup d’état in 1851, the family moved to Peru, where he lived for four years. He grew up in a middle-class family. As a child, he was attracted to the sea, which led him to join the merchant navy in just 17 years. During this period he visited several countries in South America and Europe.
In the early 1870s he returned to Paris where he worked for a financial company. Shortly afterwards he married Mette-Sophie Gad and had five children. Thanks to his work, he was able to live comfortably with his family. At the same time he is interested in painting and Parisian art. He then took painting lessons and bought several works by Impressionist artists such as Camille Pissarro, Edouard Manet, Paul Cézanne and Claude Monet.
After his studies and his contacts with the Paris art scene, he began to write his first works reflecting the influence of Impressionism. The first was a lake on the plain (1874). The following year he became friends with the impressionist painter Camilla Pissarro, with whom he has worked ever since. In these years Gauguin made several paintings, such as The Seine on the Iena Bridge (1875), The Autumn Landscape (1877), The Chitiée Mette Gauguin (1878), The Garden under the Snow (1879) and Vogyrar’s Gortelanos (1879). He cemented a career as a young artist. He was invited by other Impressionist artists to the Impressionist Exhibition of 1879, with works by Monet, Pissarro, Edgar Degas and Mary Cassat.
In the following years, he took part in the exhibitions of the Impressionists, who became the centre of the movement’s debates, with renowned artists such as Jean-Louis Foran, Berthe Morizeau, Henri Roire, Victor Vignon, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.
In 1883, the Paris Stock Exchange collapsed. Gauguin then decided to turn his passion for art into his profession. He dedicates himself entirely to this artistic activity. The following year he and his family moved to Copenhagen, the city where his wife’s family lived. While he was in the country, he sought financial support from his family. However, his attempts failed soon after he left his wife and children, an event that damaged his reputation. In the years that followed, Gauguin was rejected by society at that time.
Gauguin and Post-Impressionist painting
By the end of the 1880s his images and ideas had changed. He begins to distance himself from impressionism without completely denying it. His new style is part of what is called synthesis, a term used by post-impressionist artists to distinguish their work from impressionism. This turning point in his work was influenced by his relationship with the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, who was visiting his brother in Paris at the time. This short stay on the island of Martinique has also influenced these changes.
Between 1886 and 1888 he follows Van Gogh, impressed by his work. In 1888 he accompanied him to Arles, where he hoped to work with him. However, a personal conflict led to the failure of this project. From this period onwards, the work will be assigned: Quatre bretons (1886), Nature morte au profil de Laval (1886), En mer II (1887), Conversation sous les tropiques (1887) and Portrait de Madeline Bernard (1888).
After his failure in Arles, he returns to Paris where, under the influence of his friend Emile Bernard, he begins to deepen his interest in popular art. During this period, together with Bernard, he developed a style that distinguishes them from the Impressionists, a synthesis. The style, which is characterized by the differentiation of contrasting colour areas in the image, does not attempt to depict impressions or imitate scenes. This style rejects the techniques and foundations of Impressionism.
In the last years of his career Gauguin travelled and spent long periods on the Marquesas and the islands of Tahiti. When he lived on these islands, he wrote scenes from everyday life and scenes that refer to the culture and faith of the islanders, such as La Orana Maria (1891), On the Beach (1981), Upaupa, Dance of Fire (1891), House of Songs (1892), Canoe (1896), Idole (1897), Where Dole (1897), Where Do We Come Of Or Or Or Or Or Or Or Or Or Or. About us? Where are we going? (1897) and the call (1903). In the last years of his career the artist’s health deteriorated and he died on the 8th. May 1903 in the Marquesas.
1848, Camille Pissarro, France, Georges Pierre Seurat, Henri Matisse, artist, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Paul Signac, Post-Impressionism, Synthesis, Vincent van Gogh.