A Brief History of Paul Gauguin

Despite being recognized only after his death, French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin is well-known for his experimental use of color and Synthetist style. His work is regarded as a distinct art form, and he spent ten years in French Polynesia.

Paul Gauguin

Life in Martinique

Visiting Martinique in 1887, Paul Gauguin and his friend Charles Laval were fascinated by the beauty of the Caribbean island. They thought the island was a lost paradise. They painted warm, exotic landscapes. They imagined naked men, women dancing, and other idyllic scenes. The reality of the island was far from what Gauguin and Laval expected.

After a brief stay in Martinique, Gauguin returned to France. His health declined, and he began to suffer from syphilis and heart attacks. Despite this, he continued to work and develop his style. He was a great influence on Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. His artwork is often compared to the works of Paul Cezanne, one of Gauguin’s favourite artists.

His stay in Martinique was short, but had a long-term impact on Gauguin’s artistic development. The paintings he created were influenced by the landscapes and the local inhabitants of the island. He later re-used some of his sketches in later works. His paintings in Martinique were loosely painted with bright colours, which conveyed the exotic character of the landscape. He also experimented with bold lines and large, unmodulated planes of colour.

After leaving Martinique, Gauguin continued to paint rural and indigenous populations. He was particularly fond of watching people in everyday activities. He began incorporating Indian symbols into his work. He began to develop an eclectic, Post-Impressionist aesthetic. He was inspired by Paul Cezanne, who was a great example to him.

After his death, Gauguin’s paintings received acclaim and his name was established as an important artist. His work was the subject of a major exhibition at Tate Modern in 2010, curated by Belinda Thomson. His paintings are displayed in the Scottish National Galleries.

Career in Paris

During the last five years of his life, Paul Gauguin devoted his efforts to painting full time. His style was heavily influenced by popular primitive arts of South America and Asia.

He studied under Pissarro. He later married a Danish woman, Mette-Sophie Gad (1850-1920). They moved to Denmark in 1884, where Mette-Sophie settled with her family.

After his marriage, Gauguin became successful in business. He was employed by a merchant marine. He served in the French Navy for two years. He was also a stockbroker. In 1882, the stock market crashed, and he lost his job. He started painting in his spare time.

He began traveling to the South Pacific in the early 1890s. In his paintings, he reverted to Christian iconography. He also used a bold palette and rigid forms.

In his last years, Gauguin became sick and was in poor health. He attempted suicide in 1897. He was also charged with libeling the governor of the Marquesas Islands on 27 March 1903. His defense was supported by art dealer Ambroise Vollard.

In late 1887, Gauguin returned to France. He assumed a new identity. He was an exotic figure. He painted a landscape at Viroflay, which was accepted into an official annual exhibition in France. He also continued to paint in the South Pacific until his death.

In his early years, Gauguin was not interested in Impressionism. He was a member of the Primitivism movement. This movement emphasized the spiritual and religious qualities of non-western civilizations. It also encouraged Westerners to see non-Western people as spiritually superior. It is believed that Gauguin’s experience in Lima, Peru was a key factor in his development.

After his father died, Gauguin’s mother decided to move back to France. When Gauguin was seven years old, his family moved to Orleans. In 1855, France had moved to a politically stable era.

Life on Tahiti

During his time on the French Polynesian islands, Paul Gauguin experienced an upswing in his art. His style evolved into an exaggerated romantic vision of the place and the people. His paintings explored the answer to living closer to nature.

In September 1901, Gauguin retreated to the Marquesas Islands. He erected a large thatch and reed home in Puna’auia. The house was warm in the summer, but it leaked in the rain.

Gauguin inherited a substantial sum of money from his uncle Isidore in Orleans. He hoped to live in a tropical paradise. His paintings reflected his deep love of nature and the desire to explore the ultimate meaning of human existence.

His works became influential in the Primitivism art movement. He also criticized the colonization of indigenous culture. He rejected European society and sought direct contact with the natural world.

He painted native girls with partial nudity, which was not acceptable in Europe. His work also received mixed reviews. Claude Monet said that his Tahitian work was terrible.

Gauguin stayed on the islands for two years, but then moved back to France in 1893. After that, he never left again. His later work reflects his deep love of nature and his desire to explore the answer to living closer to nature.

He died in Atuona, Hiva ‘Oa, Marquesas Islands, in 1903. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery. His biography is now being explored in a film titled Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti.

In addition to his art, Gauguin wrote a memoir about his experiences in Tahiti. It was a short piece of fiction, and modern critics have questioned the authenticity of it.

He also had many mistresses, including another young girl called Marie Rose. She was the daughter of a tribal chief.

Relationship with Vincent van Gogh

Despite a tumultuous relationship, Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh were friends. They shared a common interest in painting. They were both influenced by the post-impressionism movement. They often worked in different styles. They also had differing views on art. Ultimately, their relationship ended in a violent way.

In the 1890s, the two artists lived together in Paris, working together. They also exchanged letters. They argued over art and ate meals together. They even dedicated a self-portrait to each other.

The two artists had a prolific period. They painted many works in both the city and the countryside. They were both bold artists. They frequently used colors that represented emotions and context. They made connections that were a bit crazy. But they also showed respect for each other’s work.

Although the relationship between Gauguin and Van Gogh is not proven, there are several pieces of evidence that they had a fling. Their writings contain the tiniest hints that they may have been romantically linked. Despite their conflicting opinions on life, these two men were very similar. They both believed that humans were in their purest state when they were immersed in the natural world. They were also very much influenced by each other’s work.

The two artists had a brief collaboration in 1887, and then a long period of time in which they clashed over their artistic style and opinions. They spent more time together during the winter months. They also had heated debates about art. They also had a lot of fun. However, they also faced financial difficulties. Then, in November of 1885, the French stock market crashed. They lost their jobs.

The two artists eventually moved to a yellow stucco house in Arles, France. The two artists exhibited each other’s work at the Grand Bouillon-Restaut du Chalet, and they became close.


During the course of his life, Paul Gauguin lived in many countries. He was a painter, sculptor, writer and printmaker. His paintings explored the meaning of human existence and the possibility of religious fulfillment. He was also a member of the modernist art movement. Despite his fame, he never received a formal artistic education.

During his lifetime, Gauguin’s paintings were characterized by a bold use of color. He developed a new style that married everyday observation with mystical symbolism. He emphasized the importance of the natural world and of the relationship between humans and the earth.

In the 1870s, Gauguin began to question the role of art in modern society. He began to work on a new theory of “synthetism”. He also experimented with bold color combinations. His works were heavily influenced by the popular primitive arts of Africa, Asia and French Polynesia.

In the early 1890s, Gauguin began traveling regularly to the south Pacific. He had contact with a small community of Indian immigrants. He may have been inspired by Maori art in Auckland. During this time, he acquired Impressionist paintings by Monet and Pissarro. He worked with Claude-Emile Schuffenecker, who shared his interest in painting.

When Gauguin was 18, he signed on as a pilot’s assistant in the merchant marine. He lost his job when the French stock market crashed in 1882. He returned to Paris in 1885. He married Mette Sophie Gad, a Danish woman, in 1873. They had five children.

In 1901, Gauguin moved to the Marquesas Islands. In the following years, he exhibited at official Impressionist exhibitions in Paris. He painted a series of landscapes. He also studied the works of Gustave Courbet, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Eugene Delacroix. He was inspired by their use of luminous color.