French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin was an important figure in the Symbolist and Impressionist art movement of the 1900s. His use of bold colors, exaggerated body proportions and sharp contrasts in his paintings set him apart from his contemporaries. Primitivism helped pave the way for the art movement. Gauguin often sought exotic settings and lived in Tahiti for a long time.
His real name was Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), painter born in Paris. He is the owner of the work "Nafea Faaipoipo (When Will You Get Married)", which holds the record for the highest figure given to a work of art, selling for $300 million.
Artistic Style of Paul Gauguin
The works of the artist belong to the Post-Impressionist movement. He is generally known for his Nature paintings. In 1891, Gauguin tried to escape the structures of European society. He thought Tahiti might offer him a kind of personal and creative freedom. After moving to Tahiti, Gauguin was disappointed to find that the French colonial authorities had westernized much of the island. So he lived among the indigenous peoples and chose to stay away from the Europeans living in the capital.
During this time, Gauguin transformed the Christian figures of Mary and Jesus into a Tahitian mother and child in "La Orana Maria". Gauguin made many other works during this time, including an engraved sculpture called "Oviri". Although this is a word from the Tahitian word for "savage," according to Gauguin, the sculpted female figure was actually a depiction of a goddess.
In 1893 Gauguin returned to France to show some of his Tahitian paintings. Reactions to his work were mixed and it failed to sell much. Critics and art buyers could not understand his primitive stylistic style. Then again Gauguin returned to French Polynesia. During this time, he went on to create one of his later masterpieces, "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?" Gauguin described the human life cycle.
In 1901, Gauguin moved to the more distant Marquesas Islands. He was in poor health. He had had several heart attacks. On May 3, 1903, Gauguin died on his isolated island, penniless and alone.
Paul Gauguin Works, Paintings, Famous Paintings
Autumn Landscape (Farm and Pond)(1877) , Still Life With Oysters (1876),The Embroiderer or Mette Gauguin (1878), Vase With Flowers On The Window (1881), The Sleeping Child (1881), Women Bathing (1885), Breton Peasant Women (1886), A Seashore (1887), The Swineherd, Brittany (1888), Breton Dancing Girls (1888), Self Portrait: Les Miserables (1888), Van Gogh Working the Sunflowers (1888), Jacob 's Struggle with the Angel (The Dream After the Sermon) (1888), Washerwomen At Roubine Du Roi Arles (1888), Night Cafe In Arles (Madame Ginoux) (1888), Yellow Jesus (1889), Tahitian Women at the Beach (1891), Where Do We Come From/ What Are We/ Where Are We Going (“Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?) (1898), Te Avae No Maria (The Month of Mary) (1899), Two Women (1901)