I shut my eyes in order to see. ~Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin (pronunciation) was born in Paris, France on June 7, 1848. He showed an early interest in art, and began studying painting when he was just 17 years old. He spent many years pursuing various careers, including work as a salesman and a stockbroker, but none of them lasted long. Eventually, he dedicated himself to painting full-time.

The Vision after the Sermon (Jacob wrestling with the Angel)

In 1873, Gauguin traveled to Panama and Martinique, where he painted some of his first landscapes. These early works were influenced by the French Barbizon school of painting. Upon his return to France, Gauguin continued to develop his own unique style of painting and became friends with other important Post-Impressionist painters, such as Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat. He and Van Gogh spent a great deal of time together, but eventually the friendship deteriorated.

Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers

In 1888, Gauguin traveled to Tahiti, where he would live for the next nine years. He was deeply inspired by the rich art and cultures of the people there, and it was during this time that he painted some of his most famous works, including “The Yellow Christ” and “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?”.

What’s New?

Returning to France in 1897, Gauguin struggled to find success as an artist before eventually returning to Tahiti, where he would live out the remainder of his days. He died in 1903 at the age of 54.

Woman with a Flower

Although Paul Gauguin is no longer with us, his legacy continues to live on through his iconic artwork. His paintings have been praised for their use of color, as well as their primitive and exotic subjects.

Yellow Christ

Books recommended for further study…

Paul GauguinPaul GauguinPaul GauguinThe Art of Paul GauguinThe Art of Paul GauguinThe Art of Paul GauguinPaul Gauguin (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists)Paul Gauguin (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)Paul Gauguin (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists)


Gauguin Virtual Tours

Masterpiece Society Content

Vision after the Sermon, or Jacob Wrestling with the Angel from Smarthistory:

Take a closer look on the Self-Portrait with Portrait of Émile Bernard (Les misérables) from Smarthistory:

Check out The Red Cow from Smarthistory:

This video is about Nevermore (1897) from Smarthistory: