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Paul Gauguin
France 1848−1903
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Paul Gauguin (FR. Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin June 7, 1848, Paris, France 8 may 1903, Atuona, French Polynesia) — French post-impressionist artist. Youth Gauguin spent on ships of the merchant Navy, traveling around the world. After that, he returned to France, married and became a stockbroker. A few years later, Gauguin began to paint, and eventually quit my job, left the family and went to live in Tahiti, where he painted the most famous paintings. But during his lifetime, the artist received practically no recognition, critics and journalists ridiculed his work. Last years Gauguin spent in the Marquesas.

Features of the artist Paul Gauguin: the early works of Gauguin can be attributed to impressionism, he later goes on to cloisonnism and synthetism. In his most famous Tahitian canvases, he often uses a very bright, clean, sometimes even unnatural colors. The heroines of his paintings are half-naked native girls surrounded by village huts and tropical landscapes.

Famous paintings of Paul Gauguin: "When's the wedding?", "Woman with flower", "Woman holding a fruit", "Where did we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?", "The spirit of the dead does not sleep", "Yellow Christ", "Where are you going?"

If you say that Paul Gauguin was a great artist, there are very few people willing and most importantly able, to object. But the assertion that Paul Gauguin was a great man, by contrast, is highly controversial. The artist certainly was a remarkable person, which many of the troubles and tribulations. But if we consider it as human, abstracting from the talent and artistic heritage, one can only wonder how he managed to get along with people, exactly how these people have suffered.

Gauguin was aggressive and arrogant, spoiled relations with others and quarrel with each other (sometimes just for fun). He considered himself an unrecognized genius and I dream about the moment when the whole world will severely regret that they did not understand his talent. The only person to whom he was really attached, was his daughter Alina (she, by the way, was a major admirer of his work, even when you didn’t believe in him either). But Aline could not keep the artist next to him, nor convince him to take her with him to far warmer climes.

The only thing that happened to Gauguin’s really good (besides painting, of course) is to run away. His flight was selfless, desperate and never bring him peace. Throughout the life of the artist with varying degrees of success ran from commitment and responsibility, lack of money and recognition, family and everyday life, of civilization, in the end. The important thing is that it has always been that "flight from…", but the purpose of this endless journey from Gauguin’s always escaped.

Family business

Apparently, the confidence that his life would be extraordinary, and that it deserves a special relationship, there Gauguin in early childhood. At the age of fifteen years he made his first long journey — from France to Peru — and it is, tragically lost their father. In Lima little Paul with the mother of Alina and her sister Mary lived in full prosperity in the house of a distant relative of a millionaire. If not interfered with, the direct heirs of don PIO, the Gauguin family could inherit a considerable fortune, and then the world most likely would have lost one of the great artist. But so was doom that haunted Gauguin the family in the maternal line, all of them most of my life were forced to live in poverty.

It is difficult to imagine how hard it was seven years in the Field, adapt to new conditions of life, when the family returned to France and settled in the house of his grandfather in Orleans. The boy used to other landscapes outside the window, to another language (his first language was Spanish) and to a completely different standard of living. More recently, he was treated like a little king, and now he has to go to a normal French school and to start thinking about boring work in some mediocre field. To prevent this, Paul could not. Not listening to the mother, who advises him to make a career (because it is difficult to converge with people and "not able to win the favor of"), and choosing the father’s way, at the time, violated the family tradition and became a journalist instead of a greengrocer, Gauguin hired an assistant pilot in the merchant Navy. The next six years he traveled around the world, like a sponge soaking up impressions. Even the news of the death of the mother, who found it in India only a few months later, unable to stop him. But, in the end, Gauguin returned to France and gradually become who so desperately wanted to be.

The calm before the storm

The next few years were for Gauguin as if in some strange dream. He got a mediocre job as a stockbroker (boring does not come up, but this work brought a steady and very high income), married to the gruff blond Danish woman, Mette Gad, who actually replaced his mother, and had children. Those who knew Gauguin in that period, recalled that he was very quiet and taciturn, as if asleep on the go, but sometimes it awoke some kind of primal animal rage. Able after long years in the Navy to bend with bare hands horseshoe, Paul could suddenly pounce on unwitting offender with his fists, and seriously to hurt him.

It seemed that on such a life — a family, a stable job, prosperity — can only dream of. But it was not what they wanted for themselves Gauguin. From this lethargy he was only saved by one thing — suddenly opened artistic talent. I must say, the Field were very lucky with the patron. An old friend of his mother, Gustave Arosa not only helped him in his time to find a job, and later introduced Camille Pissarro. After Arosa, Gauguin becomes a collector of paintings, and later he begins to write. Friendship with Pissarro lasted many years, Gauguin called him only as "master" and admired his talent. But only until, yet do not believe in your own higher purpose. Many years later, Pissarro in conversation with journalist Charles Maurice spoke about a former student is not the best way: "A true artist should be poor and not recognized, it should care about the art, not the opinions of blockheads critics. And this man appointed himself the genius and turned the case so that we, his friends, have him to sing along. Paul forced me to help him with the show, did you write about her story… And what the hell he’s hanging out in Panama, Martinique and Tahiti? A true artist will find nature in Paris — it’s not the exotic trappings, and that his soul". Anyway, Pissarro and other Impressionists had a profound influence on the works of Gauguin, at least in his early work (1, 2, 3).

In 1882 in France, there was stock market crisis, and Gauguin lost his job. The market of painting also suffered, paintings by such little-known artists, already sold quite sluggish, does no longer find buyers. But despite this, he regarded the loss of a job on the exchange as a sign: he needs to become a real artist. Mette, worrying about the welfare of the family, arranged my husband’s scandals and called him crazy. Her critics would agree, speaks disparagingly about the work of Gauguin, and even his friends, who with great difficulty tried to feed themselves by painting. But he finally seemed to awake from a long sleep. Future met Gauguin rainbow and happy. Bright colors in it, however, really is a lot, but happiness…

Step away from immortality

The happiness of the audience will forget for a few years. The family remained in Copenhagen, Mette literally kicked the husband unable to provide for his family. In Paris he often had to starve and take very low-paying jobs to somehow feed themselves. Gauguin move to Brittany briefly delayed in Arles, visit to Panama and Martinique… the Constant need and thirst for something more drove him on and on. Gradually, the imagination of Gauguin began to develop the image of the place in which he wanted to go. Childhood in Peru, sailing to distant lands in his youth, Panama, Martinique… He saw the sensual dark-skinned women (which will silently adore it and not require them to be provided), covered with reed huts (which don’t need to pay), in abundance growing exotic fruits (which would have saved him from having to look for money for food).

What was disappointing Gauguin when he first stepped off the boat at Tahiti beach and saw quite a civilized town with shops and pubs, brick houses and people in European clothing. The artist was late from coming here for a few decades: during this time, the colonists managed to have a serious impact on the lifestyle of the islanders. However, in the far reaches of the island, Gauguin found the simple native life, which was the dream. And what he found helpful was "painted" his rich imagination. The artist begins with inspiration and a lot to write, preferring cloisonnism and synthetism and gradually honing their own unique style. At this time he creates many of the most famous of his works: "Woman with flower"(1891), "When's the wedding?"(1892), "Woman holding a fruit"(1893).

In 1893 Gauguin returned to France full of confidence that now is his genius will finally be recognized. Despite the complete lack of money and failing health (I was diagnosed with syphilis in the advanced form), he’s taking home my new paintings in anticipation of triumph. But the artist was waiting for a new bitter disappointment. His exhibition was a failure, critics and reporters literally trampled him, calling his paintings "fabrications of the patient’s brain, a mockery of Art and Nature." In addition, during a visit to Copenhagen, it turns out that younger children Gauguin does not know. Mette, which the artist throughout this time she wrote letters and sent their works, put him out of the house, not wishing to talk to him. Received several crushing blows, Gauguin decides to leave again on the island — this time for good.

In 1878, exhausted by poverty and disease, broken by the news of the death of his beloved daughter Alina, the artist understands that in this world it holds nothing more. In parting, he decides to create a masterpiece, a canvas "Where did we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?"After work on the painting was completed by Gauguin went to the mountains to die. And then cursed myself last words for not even managed to get poisoned and took too large a dose of arsenic.

After this "second birth" life Gauguin miraculously began to improve. The disease for some time, they retreated, and in Paris has finally started to sell his paintings. The artist moved to the Marquesas Islands, built a large house and personally decorated it with wood carvings. It suddenly woke up her father’s talent as a journalist, but Gauguin never forgets his true calling and continues to write. Here born the famous paintings "The gold of their bodies"(1901), "The spell"(1903) and the last self-portrait(1903). Drawing himself one last time, Gauguin finally refuses the beloved image of the "savage", portraying a calm and a tired man who has lived though difficult but eventful life.

Paul Gauguin was found dead in his "pleasure House" at the age of 54 years. On the nightstand beside his bed stood an empty bottle from under opium tincture. It seems that this time he did everything right. The last escape was a success.

Author: Eugene Sidelnikov
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Artworks liked by

Paul Gauguin. Breton girl
Breton girl
Paul Gauguin
1889, 71.5×90.5 cm
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Paul Gauguin. Woman collecting fruit and savage
Woman collecting fruit and savage
Paul Gauguin
1897, 10.6×8.9 cm
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Whole feed
Artworks by the artist
total 422 artworks
Paul Gauguin. The spirit of the dead does not sleep
The spirit of the dead does not sleep
1892, 73×92 cm
Paul Gauguin. When are you getting married?
When are you getting married?
1892, 105×75.5 cm
Paul Gauguin. Portrait of Vincent van Gogh painting sunflowers
Portrait of Vincent van Gogh painting sunflowers
1888, 73×91 cm
Paul Gauguin. Self-portrait dedicated to Vincent van Gogh (Les Miserables)
Self-portrait dedicated to Vincent van Gogh (Les Miserables)
1888, 45×55 cm
Paul Gauguin. We pray to you, Mary
We pray to you, Mary
1891, 113×87 cm
Paul Gauguin. Breton village in the snow
Breton village in the snow
1894, 62×87 cm
Paul Gauguin. Self-portrait
1885, 65.2×54.3 cm
Paul Gauguin. Night Café at Arles
Night Café at Arles
1888, 71.5×91.5 cm
Paul Gauguin. Are you jealous?
Are you jealous?
1892, 66.2×89.3 cm
View 425 artworks by the artist