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Paul Gauguin

Born: Paris, 7 June 1848
Died: Atuona, Marquesas Islands, 8 May 1903
Nationality: French

wealthy, liberal family; grandmother was the famous French socialist writer Flora Tristan


self-taught; with Camille Pissarro at Académie Colarossi (Paris)


1871 – begins working as stockbroker

1874 – meets Camille Pissarro

1876 – exhibits at Paris Salon

1880 – exhibits at Fifth Impressionist exhibition (also Sixth 1881; Seventh 1882; and Eighth, 1886)

1882 – loses job as a stockbroker

1886 – begins working in ceramics; moves to Pont-Aven, Brittany

1888 – returns to Pont-Aven with Emile BernardPaul Sérusier visits; joins Vincent van Gogh in Arles October-December of 1888; returns to Paris in December

1889 – exhibits with Les XX (Brussels); submissions rejected by the Exposition universelle (Paris); joins alternative exhibition at Café Volpini; returns to Brittany with Sérusier

1891 – leaves for Tahiti following successful fundraising sale of his work in Paris

1893 – returns to Paris; exhibits at Galerie Durand-Ruel

1895 – returns to Papeete, Tahiti

Important Artworks: 

Blue Tree Trunks, 1888 (Ordrupgaard Collection, Denmark)

Still Life with Three Puppies, 1888 (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Christ in the Garden of Olives, 1889 (Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach)

Playing in the Waves, 1889 (Cleveland Museum of Art)

The Yellow Christ, 1889 (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo)

Self-Portrait with the Yellow Christ, 1889 (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)

Poèmes Barbares, 1896 (Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University)

The Spirit of the Dead Watching, 1892 (Albright-Knox Art Gallery)

Nevermore, 1897 (Courtauld Institute Gallery, London)


Web resources

smarthistory: Gauguin, Vision After the Sermon