Picture for Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was born on June 7, 1848, in Paris. His father, Clovis Gauguin, was a political reporter; His mother Aline Marie Chazalise was the daughter of the famous scolding Flora Tristan. When Gauguin was a year old, his family left France and headed for Peru. His father, Clovis Gauguin, died on this journey. Together with his mother, Aline, and his sister Marie, they stayed with their relatives in Lima. Spent five years in Peru's capital, Gauguin was instrumental to accumulate memorable childhood memories.


In 1855 he returned to France with his mother and started school in Orleans. Gauguin had an intense interest in everything exotic since his childhood. He joined the commercial sea fleet at the age of 16 to get to know different countries. He entered the ship "Luzitano" in Rio de Janeiro as an intern. In 1868, he served in the Navy and thus he spent six years in the seas of the world. In 1871, he returned to Paris and started to work as a stockbroker. Gauguin as a businessman quickly gained success. At the same time, he met a Danish woman named Mette Sophie Gad. In 1873 they married in Paris, and a year later the first of their five children was born.


Gauguin bought impressionist paintings and made collections. He also started painting in order to evaluate his free time. The person who played a decisive role at the beginning of Gauguin's art, especially the impressionist painting, was Camille Pissarro, who advised him on both painting theory and painting techniques. Pissarro became both a friend and an artistic mentor of Gauguin. In 1879, on the invitation of Pissarro, he exhibited his works in the fourth exhibition of the Impressionists. Since then, he has contributed to impressionist exhibitions, actively engaged in organization work, and invited new artists to exhibit his work with the group. Gauguin also continued its work in the stock market. But art slowly pushed all the other interests of Gauguin's life into the second plan. Gauguin's "Study of the Nude" in 1880 was first welcomed in an exhibition of the sixth Impressionists in 1881. This positive approach encouraged Gauguin to abandon his work and to concentrate on painting. Although Gauguin was influenced by the Impressionists and exhibited his paintings with them, he was looking for a new style.


In 1883, a financial crisis caused a serious depression in the stock market. This crisis, Gauguin 's double life as a stockbroker-artist suddenly came to an end. Thus, he concentrated on painting. Due to his financial hardship, Gauguin decided to travel to Copenhagen, his wife Mette's hometown. He tried to start a new business here, but he was not successful. In 1885, he returned to Paris with his six-year-old son Clovis, leaving his wife and four children in Denmark. His years in Paris had been the most difficult period of his life. He was trying to live by sticking posters on the streets to look after his son and make a living. He couldn't find the job opportunities he was looking for in the city. He settled in the countryside. Gauguin sent his son to his mother in Denmark. In the summer of 1886, he moved to Pont-Aven, a small town on the Atlantic coast of Brittany. Here he made friends with painter Emile Bernard. Gauguin devoted himself entirely to painting. He used the landscape and the locals in his paintings. Gauguin saw it as a rich source of depiction for the paintings of this place.


After spending nearly six months in Pont-Aven, he wanted to try his luck in the tropics. His passion for tropical countries was to escape civilization. He was the effort to recapture the happy days of his childhood in South America. His first attempt was in 1887 with Charles Laval, a friend of Pont-Aven's paintings, who went to Panama. After staying here for a short time, two friends moved to Martinique Island. Here he made a few pictures about the exotic vegetation and landscapes of the island, discovering the tropical light and color that portrays his paintings. These paintings allowed Gauguin to come closer to flat and warmer colors.


He was forced to return to France as a result of the deterioration of his health. After a few months in Paris, he returned to Brittany, Pont-Aven in 1888. His quest for primitive methods gave way to a new style: Kluazonism (Cloisonnism). They developed this technique, which was divided into sections with thick lines and painted in pure colors, with his friend Emile Bernard. Also, Gauguin was anymore trying to portray his own inner views rather than his impressionistic worldview. In his paintings, he began to use imaginary and symbolic themes whose meanings were not immediately noticeable.


In 1888 Vincent van Gogh moved to Arles in the south of France. Vincent van Gogh was thinking of working with Gauguin for a few months. Van Gogh invited Gauguin to Arles. These two artists combined with their dreams of creating a "community of painters". Van Gogh's brother Theo was the director of a gallery in Paris. With Theo's help, Gauguin went to Arles in October. During the time they spent with Van Gogh, they turned to the same subjects from time to time, at which point the difference in their interpretation of their visual experiences became even more pronounced. They didn't take long for them to break down their relationship with their joint work. In his second month in Arles, Gauguin's relationship with Van Gogh worsened. Van Gogh went through a crisis and cut his left ear, so Gauguin returned to Paris. Gauguin was going to Cafe Voltaire frequently in Paris. Cafe Voltaire was the meeting place for the symbolists. He was accepted by symbolist artists. He participated in their discussions in this movement. Gauguin decided to leave France again to live and work in the tropical area. HeHe needed the money for his long trip. He organized an auction to sell his paintings. The symbolist friends organized a sumptuous farewell in Cafe Voltaire. In April 1891, after a brief visit to his family in Copenhagen, he set out for Tahiti.


Gauguin first settled in Papeete, the capital of Tahiti. When he could not find themes representing the traditional Tahiti lifestyle, traditions, and culture, he moved to Mataeia on the southern shore of Tahiti. He started living in a hut here. In the first paintings he made, he tried to capture only the environmental characteristics of this island. One of his first portraits in Tahiti was "Woman with a Flower". A Tahitian woman dressed in a European-style dress was depicted. Gauguin's compositions in Tahiti were generally based on two figures. In his paintings, he depicted sitting, standing or lying figures. There was no narrative connection between these figures. Gauguin found what he was looking for in the artistic sense in Tahiti. But happy days would not last long. Although his three years in Tahiti were fruitful, his illness and shortage of money forced Gauguin to return to France in 1893.


Gauguin described his first journey and experience to Tahiti in his book "Noa Noa". The legacy of his uncle Isidore helped Gauguin improve his economic situation. He used this money to set up a new workshop. At this time Gauguin met Jaban Annah in Paris. They lived together for a while and the table called "Annah the Javanese" appeared during this period. Gauguin's journey with Annah in Brittany, where he traveled again in hopes of finding new inspiration, ended in tragedy. The ankle was broken so that it could not heal completely until the end of its life. In 1895, he decided to go to Tahiti again.


This time he settled in a small town called Punaauia near Papeete. The painter started to live happily and hopefully in his life in this tropical country where he returned. But after a short time, he fell again into stricture. In 1896, he suffered a profound depression, and he made eye-catching paintings of the second Tahiti period. In his paintings of this period Gauguin, described the Tahitian women as standing alone, in pairs or in groups, in front of or in their hut, in their stationary state. Now the size of his paintings often reached monumental sizes. In his paintings, he began to explore the contradictions between the primitive world and the civilized world and to reveal the differences. Gauguin's compared understanding to work in Europe with the painting "Not working" with the approach of the Tahitians to adopt everything as it is. Meanwhile, his health was deteriorating and her financial problems started. In 1897, with the death of his sixteen-year-old daughter Aline, he suffered tremendous physical pain.


Despite all these negativities, a visual interpretation of the human condition was transferred to a very large canvas. He completed the painting "Where Do We Come From? Who Are We? Where Are We Going?", which he saw as the testament of Gauguin. After finishing his picture, he attempted suicide with an overdose of arsenic. He was hospitalized and healed. His life in Tahiti was improving day by day. He's made new friends now. He was respected by his surroundings. Moreover, Gauguin's paintings were liked and cared for. As in Gauguin's "Two Tahitian Women," his life was reflected in the paintings he made.


Gauguin moved to Atuona in Khiva Oa, one of the largest islands in the Marques, where he would be his last resident in 1901. He spent two years on this island with sunflowers and some landscape paintings. In 1903 he was fined for a problem with the church and the administration, and he was sentenced to three months' imprisonment. Gauguin fell ill and died on May 8 at his home in Atuona. He was buried in a small cemetery near Atuona.



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1848 He was born in Paris on 7 June.


1849 Gauguin and his family moved to Peru. His father died during the trip.


1855 The family returned to France.


1859 He started Petit Seminaire boarding school in Orléans; He studied here until 1865.


1865 Luzitano, working between Le Havre and Rio de Janeiro, entered the trading ships.


1866 Chili has gone on a world tour that lasted 13 months as an officer on his ship.


1867 His mother, Aline, died on the sea voyage.


1868 He joined the Navy.


1871 He started as a stockbroker in Paris and painted as a hobby.


1873 He married Mette Sophie Gad, the Danish, on 22 November.


1874 Their first child was born Émile. He made the paintings "Seine River Seen From Iéna Bridge”.


1876 His daughter Aline was born. For the first time, a picture was exhibited in the Official Salon Exhibition.


1877 He exhibited his works in the impressionist exhibition.


1879 His son Clovis was born. He was able to live a comfortable family life with the money he earned from the stock market. He expanded his collection of paints. He took part in the Fourth Impressionists Exhibition with his paintings.


1881 He made pictures with Pissarro and Cézanne. "Study of the Nude" was exhibited in the sixth Impressionist exhibition and was welcomed by the audience. His son, Jean René was born.


1883 He quit his stock market business and focused on painting. His fifth child, Pola, was born.


1884 He started to live with his wife Mette's family in Copenhagen. He tried to start a new business, but he was not successful.


1885 Leaving his wife and four children in the Danish capital, he returned to Paris with his six-year-old son Clovis.


1886 He went to Pont-Aven in Brittany to paint. He made friends with Bernard.


1887 He and his painter friend Laval went to Panama. Then he went to Martinique with his friend. Both fell ill. They're back in Paris.


1888 From February to October, he stayed in Pont-Aur. It broke away from impressionism. He completed a picture of "Vision of the Sermon". He stayed with Van Gogh in Arles from October to December. When Van Gogh's relationship with him broke down, he returned to Paris.


1889 He lived in by turns Paris, Pont-Aven and Le Pouldu (Brittany). he made his paintings "Portrait of Jacob Meyer de Haan", "The Yellow Christ", "La Belle Angèle" and "The Schuffenecker Family".


1890 He decided to leave France. He organized an auction where he could turn his pictures into money for the long journey he was going to take.


1891 He went to Copenhagen to say goodbye and departed for Tahiti on April 4th. His autobiography, "Noa Noa", started to write.


1893 He returned to Paris. The legacy of his uncle Isidore helped Gauguin improve his economic situation. He rented a workshop on Vercingétorix Street.


1894 He and Anna stayed in Brittany. During the fight with the marines, the ankle was broken.


1895 He left France for sure. He made his way to Tahiti for the second time.


1897 His daughter heard that Aline was dead. He made the painting "Where Do We Come From? Who Are We? Where Are We Going?“.


1898 He tried to kill himself.


1900 The Parisian gallerist Vollard made an agreement with Gauguin and bought his paintings. His son Clovis is dead.


1902 He wrote his book named "Racontars de Rapin". He made the painting "Girl with a Fan" table. He made landscape pictures.


1901 He moved to Atuona in Marjada Oita. 1903 died on May 8 at his home in Atuana, at the age of 54.

Where Do We Come From? Who Are We? Where Are We Going? - Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin left France and went to Tahiti, one of the Polynesian islands in the Pacific. In 1891, he went to Tahiti for the first time. Tahitian for Gauguin was an escape from everything that was artificial and traditional. He was also determined not to return from Tahiti for the second time in 1895. He was happy and hopeful about his life in this tropical country.