|Paul Gauguin 1848-1903||BACK|
|Gauguin was raised in Lima, joined the merchant navy in 1865, and then in 1872 began a successful career as a stockbroker in Paris. It was there he experienced his first Impressionists' exhibit that captivated him and confirmed his desire to become a painter. In 1883 the stock market crashed and he abandoned his business career and family, while frequently moving from one place to another, living on little money, and devoting himself to painting entirely.
His early work showed little promise and people laughed at him. From then his life was a crescendo of increasing bitterness at the world which rejected his art, for he realized that he was producing paintings of unparalleled strength and beauty.
In his Tahiti period he often painted on unprimed hessian, or sackcloth, and in many of the paintings done at the time the weave of the rough fabric is clearly visible through the paint. This was partly a consequence of his poverty, as was the thinness of the paint in some of his works, but he had begun to experiment with coarse canvas with Gauguin in 1888, and found that the hairy surface of sackcloth enhanced the "barbaric" qualities he so much admired.
We know a good deal about his methods and the colors he used from his own copious writings and the following letter to the picture dealer Ambrose Vollard, written from La Dominique in March 1902, gives us an idea of the palette he favored at the time as well as of his financial problems.
Gauguin at his Easel, 1885
Still Life with Mandoline, 1885
Study for Four Breton Women, 1886
Still Life with Portrait of Laval, 1886
Two Girls Bathing, 1887
At the Cafe, 1888
Breton Girls Dancing, Pont Aven, 1888
Les Alyscamps, 1888
Woman from Arles in the Public Garden, 1888
Woman in the Hay with Pigs, 1888
Self Portrait: Les Miserables, 1888
Grape Harvest at Arles: Human Misery, 1888
Seascape with Cow at the Edge of a Cliff, 1888
Vison after the Sermon, 1888
Portrait of Gauguin, 1888
Self Portrait 1888
Bonjour Monsieur Gauguin, 1889
The Yellow Christ, 1889
Green Christ, 1889
Breton Eve, 1889
Christ in the Garden of Olives, 1889
Woman with Still Life by Cezanne
Madame Death, 1891
Copy of Manet's Olympia, 1891
Street in Tahiti, 1891
Te Faaturuma, 1891
Village under Snow, 1894
Self Portrait with Palette, 1894
Woman with Two Children, 1901
Woman with a Fan, 1902
Still Life with Parrots, 1902
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