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    Paul Gauguin Biography Essay Summary

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    Paul Gauguin is a famous French painter who made a great impact in the developing of the modern art. He was born to the journalist and the descent and lost his father when he was a teenager. When he was 17, he joined the merchant marine and was sailing for six years. In 1867 he lost his mother and was guarded by the businessman Gustave Arosa. This was the man who helped Gauguin to marry, introducing him to his future wife, Mette Sophie Gad.

    In 1874 Paul Gauguin got acknowledged with Picasso and started his studying from the older painters. Additionally, he joined the circle of avant-garde artists, and this helped him to improve his artistic skills. One day, Gauguin lost his job, but this did not disappoint him as he received a chance to paint every time without distraction.

    Paul Gauguin was struggling to find the more frugal and simpler life, and for this sake, he started to travel around the different parts of the world. He visited lots of islands and exotic places and pictured their natives in his drawings. Seeking for the paradise which would not be changed by the people, he left for Tahiti and spent time there working.

    Key Ideas in painting

    Paul Gauguin was schooled as an impressionist but had developed the new movement called Symbolism. He stated that impressionistic paintings had lost their symbolistic depth and became primitively imitative. For that reason, he often explored the art of Asia and Africa that was full of depth and meaning.

    The love for Japanese prints could be visible in lots of Gauguin’s works as well as the love of creating folks. He also used bright abstractive colors to create the feeling of the harmony between the human and nature. The artist claimed that he created objects in his paintings that supposed to stimulate the imagination of viewers.

    Famous paintings made by Paul Gauguin


    Lots of painters create their self-portraits in addition to the other masterpiece to show how they see themselves. Paul Gaugin was not an exception. His Self-portrait which is also known as Self-Portrait with Halo and Snake is an oil-on-wood painting. The artist pictured himself on the red background. The halo is above his head, and some apples are hanging beside him. A snake is in the artist’s hands, and there are flowers and plants in the foreground.

    According to the curators, this image carries some religious meaning. In particular, the snake and apples are taken from the story about the Garden of Eden and serve as a symbol of sin and temptation. The painting is divided into the two parts; holy and sinner. The artist pictured himself on both halves, symbolizing the typical person who can be a saint and full of sins in different times. It symbolizes the eternal battle between good and bad in the world.


    Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?

    This famous painting by Paul Gaugin was created in 1897-1898 in Tahiti. It is an oil-on-canvas painting and has a specific title which the artist left without any punctuation or question marks. This artwork is probably the most famous from all Gaugin’s drawings. As the painter himself stated, the picture should be read from right to left. In the right corner, we can notice three women and a child and they are the symbols of the beginning of the life. The group of the people staying in the middle represents the young adulthood and its specifics. In the left, there is a woman in the elder age that is going to meet the death and a white bird who symbolize the emptiness of the words. There is also a blue idol described as the Beyond.

    This painting is truly the most known form all the existing ones and, as the artist stated he nevermore created anything better.

    Tahitian idyll

    Tahitian idyll is an oil-on-canvas painting completed in 1901. It belongs to the Tahiti paintings and for its genre is a landscape. The picture impresses with its bright colors and calmness that is spread everywhere. It was painted when Paul Gaugin was visiting Tahiti and exploring the customs and everyday life of its citizens. He wanted to show the unshakeable peace that was presented in the life of people in Tahiti. This painting is now kept in the private collection.

    When are you Getting Married?

    “When are you Getting Married?” is an oil-on-canvas painting that was created by Gaugin in 1892 and refers to the 1st Tahiti period of his work. He went there to find a peace of calm paradise for creating new works. However, he found the colonized territory where the European culture had come and left its impacts.

    The background is made with the bright colors that express the life in all its beauty. On the ground, two women are sitting, and both of them are wearing national and Western clothes. One of the women has a white flower beside her ear, and it symbolizes that she is not married and is looking for a husband. If one looks at the second woman, one could notice the gesture which can be often found in Buddhism and means warning or threatening. The pink clothing of this woman is rather different from all the others in the picture.

    Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers

    The painter of sunflowers is a portrait of the famous artist Van Gogh which was created in 1888. It is an oil-on-canvas painting and belongs to the works from the Breton period. This drawing was made after Gaugin’s visiting of Van Gogh in Arles. Van Gogh asked Gaugin for coming and staying with him to create an art colony together. While he was staying at the Van Gogh’s house, he depicted him working on his famous work Sunflowers. Unfortunately, two famous artists argued, and after a bad incident, they went the different ways.

    From the first view, Van Gogh did not like himself at the picture, stating that he was pictured as a madman. But he later claimed that it was him, tired and with the face lit up.

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