Find Art Search

Search the gallery

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin: Pioneer of Post-Impressionism and Primitivism

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was a French Post-Impressionist artist who was celebrated for his experimental use of colour and synthetist style, which paved the way for Primitivism. Born in Paris, Gauguin's early life was marked by upheaval and travel. His family moved to Lima, Peru when he was a child, a period that influenced his later artistic palette with its exotic imagery. After returning to France, Gauguin worked as a stockbroker, married Mette-Sophie Gad, and had five children.

Gauguin's passion for art, ignited by his exposure to the works of Camille Pissarro and other Impressionists, led him to make a significant life-changing decision. In the mid-1880s, he abandoned his financial career and dedicated himself to painting full-time. His collaboration with Vincent van Gogh in Arles in 1888 was a turning point in his career, although it ended abruptly due to Van Gogh's mental health crisis.

Driven by a desire to escape the constraints of European society, Gauguin embarked on a journey to Tahiti in 1891. His aim was to find a 'primitive' purity and spiritual depth that he felt was lacking in the Western world. His works from this period, such as 'Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?' (1897), are a testament to his blend of Western and Polynesian influences, characterized by vibrant colours and bold forms. Despite his search for an idyllic existence, Gauguin faced personal and financial struggles, exacerbated by health issues.

Gauguin returned to France briefly but ultimately settled in the Marquesas Islands in 1901, where he continued to paint until he died in 1903. His legacy significantly influences modern art movements, inspiring artists like Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse with his innovative approach and exploration of non-Western subjects.

Discover More Unique Art to Buy Online

Explore our main art collections to find perfect original paintings, limited edition signed prints, open-edition prints, wall art prints and posters & artist designed gifts.