Paul Gauguin.

Essay by lizet_2004University, Bachelor'sA+, January 2004

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Paul Gauguin

I think Paul Gauguin had a very interesting life and I consider him one of the best artists of his time. Although he had a very active life, he managed to express and record his feelings through painting. In the following paragraphs I will explain Gauguin's life and give my opinion about his life and his works of art.

Gauguin was born on June 7, 1848 in Paris. He was considered one of the leading painters of the Postimpressionist period. In 1849 his journalist father's political activities forced the Gauguin family into exile, and set off for Peru. His father died during the crossing from France. Gauguin's mother, of Peruvian descent on her mother's side, and her two children moved in with a great grand uncle and his family in Lima. At the age of 17 Gauguin joined the French merchant navy, traveling around the world for six years.

After the death of his mother in 1867, he settled down with his wealthy guardian, Gustave Arosa, who had a large art collection that included works by Delacroix. This period in time shaped Gauguin's interest in the arts. He started collecting Impressionist paintings, and became an amateur painter.

Gauguin began his career as a stockbroker in Paris in 1872. He attended the Impressionist's first exhibition in 1874, and was captivated by the impressionist style. He purchased works by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and others. His exposure to the Impressionists reinforced his desire to become a painter. In 1883 the bank that employed Gauguin experienced financial difficulties, and he found himself free to paint full-time. Much of his work during this period was influenced by the Impressionists, especially Pissarro. In 1884 Gauguin went to paint at the artists haven of Pont-Aven. Influenced during this period by van Gogh, Seurat, and Degas,