138 Facts About Paul Gauguin


Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin was a French Post-Impressionist artist.


Unappreciated until after his death, Gauguin is recognized for his experimental use of colour and Synthetist style that were distinct from Impressionism.


Paul Gauguin's work was influential on the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, and he is well known for his relationship with Vincent and Theo van Gogh.


Paul Gauguin's art became popular after his death, partially from the efforts of dealer Ambroise Vollard, who organized exhibitions of his work late in his career and assisted in organizing two important posthumous exhibitions in Paris.


Paul Gauguin was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramist, and writer.


Paul Gauguin was an influential practitioner of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms.


Paul Gauguin was born in Paris to Clovis Paul Gauguin and Aline Chazal on 7 June 1848, the year of revolutionary upheavals throughout Europe.

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Paul Gauguin's mother was the 22-year-old daughter of Andre Chazal, an engraver, and Flora Tristan, an author and activist in early socialist movements.


Paul Gauguin sailed to Peru in hopes of enlarging her share of the Tristan Moscoso family fortune.


In 1850, Clovis Paul Gauguin departed for Peru with his wife Aline and young children in hopes of continuing his journalistic career under the auspices of his wife's South American relations.


Paul Gauguin died of a heart attack en route, and Aline arrived in Peru as a widow with the 18-month-old Paul and his 2.


Paul Gauguin's mother was welcomed by her paternal granduncle, whose son-in-law, Jose Rufino Echenique, would shortly assume the presidency of Peru.


Paul Gauguin retained a vivid memory of that period of his childhood which instilled "indelible impressions of Peru that haunted him the rest of his life".


Paul Gauguin signed on as a pilot's assistant in the merchant marine.


Paul Gauguin's mother died on 7 July 1867, but he did not learn of it for several months until a letter from his sister Marie caught up with him in India.


In 1871, Paul Gauguin returned to Paris where he secured a job as a stockbroker.


Paul Gauguin became a successful Parisian businessman and remained one for the next 11 years.


Paul Gauguin's earnings deteriorated sharply and he eventually decided to pursue painting full-time.


Paul Gauguin returned to Paris in 1885, after his wife and her family asked him to leave because he had renounced the values they shared.


In 1873, around the time he became a stockbroker, Paul Gauguin began painting in his free time.


Paul Gauguin visited galleries frequently and purchased work by emerging artists.


Paul Gauguin formed a friendship with Camille Pissarro and visited him on Sundays to paint in his garden.


In 1877 Paul Gauguin "moved downmarket and across the river to the poorer, newer, urban sprawls" of Vaugirard.


Paul Gauguin showed paintings in Impressionist exhibitions held in 1881 and 1882.


Paul Gauguin's paintings received dismissive reviews, although several of them, such as The Market Gardens of Vaugirard, are now highly regarded.

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Paul Gauguin's earnings contracted sharply, and over the next two years he slowly formulated his plans to become a full-time artist.


However, the venture proved unsuccessful, and by the end of the year Mette and the children moved to Copenhagen, Paul Gauguin following shortly after in November 1884, bringing with him his art collection, which subsequently remained in Copenhagen.


At Mette's urging, supported by her family, Paul Gauguin returned to Paris the following year.


Paul Gauguin returned to Paris in June 1885, accompanied by his six-year-old son Clovis.


Paul Gauguin initially found it difficult to re-enter the art world in Paris and spent his first winter back in real poverty, obliged to take a series of menial jobs.


Paul Gauguin exhibited 19 paintings and a wood relief at the eighth Impressionist exhibition in May 1886.


Paul Gauguin spent the summer of 1886 in the artist's colony of Pont-Aven in Brittany.


Paul Gauguin was attracted in the first place because it was cheap to live there.


Paul Gauguin was remembered during that period as much for his outlandish appearance as for his art.


Amongst these new associates was Charles Laval, who would accompany Paul Gauguin the following year to Panama and Martinique.


Paul Gauguin mainly painted landscapes such as La Bergere Bretonne, in which the figure plays a subordinate role.


The naive drawings of the English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, used to illustrate a popular guide-book on Brittany, had caught the imagination of the avant-garde student artists at Pont-Aven, anxious to free themselves from the conservatism of their academies, and Paul Gauguin consciously imitated them in his sketches of Breton girls.


Paul Gauguin was invited to participate in the 1889 exhibition organized by Les XX.


Under the influence of folk art and Japanese prints, Paul Gauguin's work evolved towards Cloisonnism, a style given its name by the critic Edouard Dujardin to describe Emile Bernard's method of painting with flat areas of colour and bold outlines, which reminded Dujardin of the Medieval cloisonne enameling technique.


Paul Gauguin was very appreciative of Bernard's art and of his daring with the employment of a style which suited Paul Gauguin in his quest to express the essence of the objects in his art.


In such works Paul Gauguin paid little attention to classical perspective and boldly eliminated subtle gradations of colour, thereby dispensing with the two most characteristic principles of post-Renaissance painting.


Paul Gauguin's painting later evolved towards Synthetism in which neither form nor colour predominate but each has an equal role.


In 1887, Paul Gauguin left France along with his friend, another young painter, Charles Laval.


Paul Gauguin held a profound contempt for Panama, and at one point was arrested in Panama City for urinating in public.


Paul Gauguin's account provides an historical comparison to accompany Gauguin's images.

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Paul Gauguin finished 11 known paintings during his stay in Martinique, many of which seem to be derived from his hut.


Paul Gauguin asserted that four of his paintings on the island were better than the rest.


Paul Gauguin recycled some of his figures and sketches in later paintings, such as the motif in Among the Mangoes, which is replicated on his fans.


Paul Gauguin wrapped the severed tissue in newspaper and handed it to a woman who worked at a brothel Gauguin and Vincent had both visited, and asked her to "keep this object carefully, in remembrance of me".


Paul Gauguin later claimed to have been instrumental in influencing Vincent van Gogh's development as a painter at Arles.


Paul Gauguin had a deep reverence for Degas' artistic dignity and tact.


Paul Gauguin purchased work from Degas in the early to mid-1870s and his own monotyping predilection was probably influenced by Degas' advancements in the medium.


Paul Gauguin spent the first three months in Papeete, the capital of the colony and already much influenced by French and European culture.


Paul Gauguin was unable to afford the pleasure-seeking life-style in Papeete, and an early attempt at a portrait, Suzanne Bambridge, was not well liked.


Paul Gauguin decided to set up his studio in Mataiea, Papeari, some 45 kilometres from Papeete, installing himself in a native-style bamboo hut.


Paul Gauguin sent the painting to his patron George-Daniel de Monfreid, a friend of Schuffenecker, who was to become Gauguin's devoted champion in Tahiti.


Paul Gauguin was lent copies of Jacques-Antoine Moerenhout's 1837 Voyage aux iles du Grand Ocean and Edmond de Bovis' 1855 Etat de la societe tahitienne a l'arrivee des Europeens, containing full accounts of Tahiti's forgotten culture and religion.


Paul Gauguin was fascinated by the accounts of Arioi society and their god 'Oro.


Paul Gauguin executed some twenty paintings and a dozen woodcarvings over the next year.


Paul Gauguin's illustrated notebook of the time, Ancien Culte Mahorie, is preserved in the Louvre and was published in facsimile form in 1951.


Reports that they had been well received were sufficiently encouraging for Paul Gauguin to contemplate returning with some seventy others he had completed.


Paul Gauguin had in any case largely run out of funds, depending on a state grant for a free passage home.


Paul Gauguin later wrote a travelogue titled Noa Noa, originally conceived as commentary on his paintings and describing his experiences in Tahiti.


Teha'amana was the subject of several of Paul Gauguin's paintings, including Merahi metua no Tehamana and the celebrated Spirit of the Dead Watching, as well as a notable woodcarving Tehura now in the Musee d'Orsay.


Paul Gauguin set up an apartment at 6 rue Vercingetorix, on the edge of the Montparnasse district frequented by artists, and began to conduct a weekly salon.

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Paul Gauguin affected an exotic persona, dressing in Polynesian costume, and conducted a public affair with a young woman still in her teens, "half Indian, half Malayan", known as Annah the Javanese.


Paul Gauguin submitted a large ceramic sculpture he called Oviri he had fired the previous winter to the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts 1895 salon opening in April.


Paul Gauguin initially refused to share any part of a 13,000-franc inheritance from his uncle Isidore which he had come into shortly after returning.


In June 1895 Eugene Carriere arranged a cheap passage back to Tahiti, and Paul Gauguin never saw Europe again.


Paul Gauguin arrived in September 1895 and was to spend the next six years living, for the most part, an apparently comfortable life as an artist-colon near, or at times in, Papeete.


Paul Gauguin built a spacious reed and thatch house at Puna'auia in an affluent area ten miles east of Papeete, settled by wealthy families, in which he installed a large studio, sparing no expense.


Paul Gauguin maintained a horse and trap, so was in a position to travel daily to Papeete to participate in the social life of the colony should he wish.


Paul Gauguin subscribed to the Mercure de France, by then France's foremost critical journal, and kept up an active correspondence with fellow artists, dealers, critics, and patrons in Paris.


Paul Gauguin's health took a decided turn for the worse and he was hospitalised several times for a variety of ailments.


Paul Gauguin blamed the tropical climate and described the sores as "eczema", but his biographers agree this must have been the progress of syphilis.


Paul Gauguin took out a bank loan to build a much more extravagant wooden house with beautiful views of the mountains and sea.


Paul Gauguin eventually sold it in 1901 for 2,500 francs to Gabriel Frizeau, of which Vollard's commission was perhaps as much as 500 francs.


Paul Gauguin spent his final months in Tahiti living in considerable comfort, as attested by the liberality with which he entertained his friends at that time.


Paul Gauguin was unable to continue his work in ceramics in the islands for the simple reason that suitable clay was not available.


Paul Gauguin began this relationship when Pau'ura was 14 and a half years old.


Paul Gauguin fathered two children with her, of which a daughter died in infancy.


Paul Gauguin had nurtured his plan of settling in the Marquesas ever since seeing a collection of intricately carved Marquesan bowls and weapons in Papeete during his first months in Tahiti.


Paul Gauguin settled in Atuona on the island of Hiva-Oa, arriving 16 September 1901.


Paul Gauguin bought a plot of land in the center of the town from the Catholic mission, having first ingratiated himself with the local bishop by attending mass regularly.


Paul Gauguin built a two-floor house on his plot, sturdy enough to survive a later cyclone which washed away most other dwellings in the town.

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Paul Gauguin was helped in the task by the two best Marquesan carpenters on the island, one of them called Tioka, tattooed from head to toe in the traditional Marquesan way.


The schools continued with difficulty as private institutions, but these difficulties were compounded when Paul Gauguin established that attendance at any given school was only compulsory within a catchment area of some two and a half miles radius.


Paul Gauguin took as vahine one such girl, Vaeoho, the 14-year-old daughter of a native couple who lived in an adjoining valley six miles distant.


Paul Gauguin had thought he would find new motifs in the Marquesas, writing to Monfreid:.


Paul Gauguin chose to paint landscapes, still lifes, and figure studies at this time, with an eye to Vollard's clientele, avoiding the primitive and lost paradise themes of his Tahiti paintings.


Paul Gauguin was accompanied by Edouard Charlier as head of the judicial system.


Paul Gauguin had gone so far as to publish an open letter attacking Charlier about the affair in Les Guepes.


Petit, presumably suitably forewarned, refused to see Paul Gauguin to deliver the settlers' protests about the invidious taxation system, which saw most revenue from the Marquesas spent in Papeete.


At around the same time, Paul Gauguin's health began to deteriorate again, revisited by the same familiar constellation of symptoms involving pain in the legs, heart palpitations, and general debility.


Paul Gauguin's sight was beginning to fail him, as attested by the spectacles he wears in his last known self-portrait.


The local gendarme, Desire Charpillet, at first friendly to Paul Gauguin, wrote a report to the administrator of the island group, who resided on the neighbouring island of Nuku Hiva, criticizing Paul Gauguin for encouraging natives to withdraw their children from school as well as encouraging settlers to withhold payment of their taxes.


Picquenot advised Charpillet not to take any action over the schools issue, since Paul Gauguin had the law on his side, but authorised Charpillet to seize goods from Paul Gauguin in lieu of payment of taxes if all else failed.


Possibly prompted by loneliness, and at times unable to paint, Paul Gauguin took to writing.


In 1901, the manuscript of Noa Noa that Paul Gauguin had prepared along with woodcuts during his interlude in France was finally published with Morice's poems in book form in the La Plume edition.


Paul Gauguin sent this text to Bishop Martin, who responded by sending him an illustrated history of the Church.


Paul Gauguin returned the book with critical remarks he later published in his autobiographical reminisces.


When mail service resumed, Paul Gauguin penned an angry attack on Governor Petit in an open letter, complaining amongst other things about the way they had been abandoned following the shipwreck.


Paul Gauguin sent the letter to the Mercure de France, which published a redacted version of it after his death.


Paul Gauguin followed this with a private letter to the head of the gendarmerie in Papeete, complaining about his own local gendarme Charpillet's excesses in making prisoners labor for him.


Paul Gauguin began an autobiographical memoir he called Avant et apres, which he completed over the next two months.

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Paul Gauguin's memoir proved to be a fragmented collection of observations about life in Polynesia, his own life, and comments on literature and paintings.


Paul Gauguin included in it attacks on subjects as diverse as the local gendarmerie, Bishop Martin, his wife Mette and the Danes in general, and concluded with a description of his personal philosophy conceiving life as an existential struggle to reconcile opposing binaries.


Paul Gauguin sent the manuscript to Fontainas for editing, but the rights reverted to Mette after Gauguin's death, and it was not published until 1918 ; the American translation appearing in 1921.


At the beginning of 1903, Gauguin engaged in a campaign designed to expose the incompetence of the island's gendarmes, in particular Jean-Paul Claverie, for taking the side of the natives directly in a case involving the alleged drunkenness of a group of them.


Claverie responded by filing a charge against Paul Gauguin of libeling a gendarme.


Paul Gauguin was fined 500 francs and sentenced to three months' imprisonment by the local magistrate on 27 March 1903.


Paul Gauguin immediately filed an appeal in Papeete and set about raising the funds to travel to Papeete to hear his appeal.


Paul Gauguin died suddenly on the morning of 8 May 1903.


Paul Gauguin was buried in the Catholic Calvary Cemetery, Atuona, Hiva 'Oa, at 2 pm the next day.


In 2014, forensic examination of four teeth found in a glass jar in a well near Paul Gauguin's house threw into question the conventional belief that Paul Gauguin had suffered from syphilis.


In 2007, four rotten molars, which may have been Paul Gauguin's, were found by archaeologists at the bottom of a well that he built on the island of Hiva Oa, on the Marquese Islands.


Paul Gauguin had several other children by his mistresses: Germaine was born on 1891 and with Juliette Huais ; Emile Marae a Tai was born on 1899 and with Pau'ura; and a daughter was born on 1902 and with Vaeoho.


Picasso's paintings of massive figures from 1906 were directly influenced by Paul Gauguin's sculpture, painting, and his writing as well.


The power evoked by Paul Gauguin's work led directly to Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in 1907.


Durrio had several of Paul Gauguin's works on hand because he was a friend of Paul Gauguin's and an unpaid agent of his work.


The 1906 exhibition of Paul Gauguin's work left Picasso more than ever in this artist's thrall.


Paul Gauguin was always loath to admit Gauguin's role in setting him on the road to Primitivism.


Paul Gauguin's masters were Giotto, Raphael, Ingres, Eugene Delacroix, Manet, Degas, and Cezanne.


Paul Gauguin proofed some of his existing drawings with the aid of glass, copying an underneath image onto the glass surface with watercolour or gouache for printing.


Paul Gauguin's woodcuts were no less innovative, even to the avant-garde artists responsible for the woodcut revival happening at that time.

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Paul Gauguin sought out a bare emotional purity of his subjects conveyed in a straightforward way, emphasizing major forms and upright lines to clearly define shape and contour.


Paul Gauguin used elaborate formal decoration and colouring in patterns of abstraction, attempting to harmonize man and nature.


Paul Gauguin began making prints in 1889, highlighted by a series of zincographs commissioned by Theo van Gogh known as the Volpini Suite, which appeared in the Cafe des Arts show of 1889.


Paul Gauguin was not hindered by his printing inexperience, and made a number of provocative and unorthodox choices, such as a zinc plate instead of limestone, wide margins and large sheets of yellow poster paper.


Paul Gauguin started the series shortly after returning from Tahiti, eager to reclaim a leadership position within the avant-garde and share pictures based on his French Polynesia excursion.


Paul Gauguin started making watercolour monotypes in 1894, likely overlapping his Noa Noa woodcuts, perhaps even serving as a source of inspiration for them.


Paul Gauguin's techniques remained innovative and it was an apt technique for him as it didn't require elaborate equipment, such as a printing press.


Paul Gauguin completed this enterprising series of 475 prints from some twenty different compositions and sent them to the dealer Ambroise Vollard, despite not compromising to his request for salable, conformed work.


Paul Gauguin printed the work on tissue-thin Japanese paper and the multiple proofs of gray and black could be arranged on top of one another, each transparency of colour showing through to produce a rich, chiaroscuro effect.


In metamorphosing a drawing into a print, Paul Gauguin made a calculated decision of relinquishing legibility in order to gain mystery and abstraction.


Paul Gauguin worked in wood throughout his career, particularly during his most prolific periods, and is known for having achieved radical carving results before doing so with painting.


The vogue for Paul Gauguin's work started soon after his death.


Paul Gauguin paintings are rarely offered for sale, their prices reaching tens of millions of US dollars in the saleroom when they are offered.