Gauguin: Autorretrato con nimbo, 1889.
P. Gauguin, Portrait with halo,
1889, oil on canvas,
92 x 73 cm, Musée d´Orsay, Paris.

  • Biography, the Myth of the "Savage":
         Gauguin is an example to illustrate the myth of bohemy and primitivism. He represents the necessity of associating art and life: an Utopia common in vanguardism. His painture includes an important ethic ingredient. Gauguin contempts Occidental culture and despises civilization for primitive peoples. He rejects academic art and values african masks, romanic art and all the streams out of conventions. He appreciate this kind of art, not because of its curiosity and originality, but because of its authenticity. He specially tried to find himself. Finding shelter in different worlds, he found peace. Nevertheless other scholars thought he just travelled to Tahiti searching for sex and mulatto girls.

         In his first professional age, he was a stock-exchange agent. From 1874 he was able to make his job compatible with art. In 1883 he abandoned his carrer in order to devote himself to art. He left his family and took refuge in painting. First, he worked Impresionism, but he soon shifted to a clear antinaturalism more interested in suggesting power and emotional values of objects. His painture is already a misticism, since he tries to develop the true meaning of reality. He is a painter of concepts, of misteries of human being; he always asked himself Who are we? Where do we go to?.

  • A language: Synthetism.
         His style has been included in "Synthetism".
    At Pont-Aven he met Emile Bernard, who made him get interested in Synthetism, that breaks absolutely with Impressionism. Bernard made him pay attention to use of color. They cultivate flat areas without shades and marked contours.

         The matter to paint was the idea the artist elaborated after his concret experience: filter of memory takes out useless features and keeps the essence. In this way the painter gets a synthesis between form and color. He appreciates an image based on remembers. Gauguin kept in touch with L.Anquetin a lover of monochroms who tried to unify color; Gauguin was also influenced by him.

  • Gauguin. Works before his definitive flight:
    P. Gauguin: Visión después del Sermón, 1888. Gauguin,Vision after the Sermon, 1888,
    oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm, Edimburg, National Gallery of Scotland.
    P. Gauguin, Cristo amarillo, 1889. Gauguin, Yellow Christ, 1889, oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm, Buffalo (N.Y), Albright-Knox, Art Gallery.
    P. Gauguin, La bella Angela, 1889. Gauguin, Beautiful Angela 1889, oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm, Paris, Musée d´Orsay.

  • Gauguin. Works of his first stay in Tahiti (1891-1893):
    P. Gauguin: El Mercado, 1892. Gauguin, The Market, "Ta Metete", 1892, oil on canvas, 73 x 91´5 cm, Basilea, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Kunstmuseum Basel.
    P. Gauguin, Salve María, 1891. Gauguin, Salve Maria, "The Orana Maria", 1891, oil on canvas, 113´7 x 87´6 cm, N.Y., Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    P. Gauguin, El espíritu de los muertos vela, 1892. Gauguin, Spirit of Deaths Vigilates, "Manao tupapau", 1892, oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm, Buffalo, (N.Y), Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
    P. Gauguin: Pasatiempo, 1892. Gauguin, Pastime, "Arearea", 1892, oil on canvas, 75 x 94 cm, Paris, Musée d´Orsay.
    P. Gauguin: ¿Cuándo te casas?, 1892. Gauguin, When Will You Marry?, "Nafea Faa Ipoipo?", 1892, oil on canvas, 10´5 x 77´5 cm, Basilea, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Kunstmuseum Basel, Stock of Rudolf Staechlin Collection .
    P. Gauguin, ¿Qué hay de nuevo?, 1892. Gauguin, What Is New?, "Parau Api", 1892, oil on canvas, 67 x 91 cm, Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister.

  • Gauguin. Works of his later age (1895-1903):
    P. Gauguin, El caballo blanco, 1898. Gauguin, The White Horse, 1898, oil on canvas, 140´5 x 92 cm, Paris, Musée d´Orsay.
    P. Gauguin, Muchachas con flores de mango, 1899. Gauguin, Girls with Mango Flowers ( Tahitian Women), 1899, oil on canvas, 94 x 72 cm, Nueva York, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    P. Gauguin, ¿Dé dónde venimos? ?Quiénes somos? ¿Adónde vamos?, 1897. Gauguin, "Where Do We Come From? Who We Are? Where Do We Go to?, "D´où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous?", 1897, oil on canvas, 139 x 375 cm, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts.


    Written by:
    Beatriz Aragonés Escobar.
    Licenciada en History of Art

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