Painting With The Girls 98
April 7, 2016
Day 98 (268 days to go)
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was born in Paris, but spent his early childhood with his mother in Peru after his father’s death. Later, at age seven, he moved with his family to France to live with his paternal grandfather. As a young adult, he moved to Paris and became a stockbroker for 11 years until the crash in 1882. He decided to start painting, and around that time, he married a Danish woman, Mette Sophie Gad. They moved to Denmark, and for the next ten years, they had four children while he tried odd jobs. He abandoned his family to go to Paris and pursue a painting career, and never went back to his wife.
He was inspired by Rousseau’s philosophy, “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains. Those who think themselves the masters of others are indeed greater slaves then they.”
In Paris, he was a student of Pissarro, but as he began to travel, he abandoned the Impressionists’ views and developed his own style of symbolism and flattening his images into shapes and using an unusual palette. He longed for a natural uncorrupted life for himself and was drawn to traveling. He was a companion and roommate of Van Gogh for many months, but their friendship didn’t last. He continued traveling to rural and far away places. He ended his journey in Tahiti where he painted for the rest of his life. He captured the simplicity of the life of locals, juxtaposing their daily life styles with the corrupted psychological evils of European culture and religion.
He only once went back to Paris during this time, and he died in Tahiti.
He outlived three of the four children he had with his wife Mette, and is believed to have fathered at least another four children from four other women.