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Paul Gauguin
Biographical Information

Birth Date:June 7, 1848
Astrology Sign:Gemini
Chinese Sign: -
Birth Name:Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin
Birth Place:Paris, France
Died Date:May 8, 1903

Occupation:French post-Impressionist, left family to travel to Tahiti and married thirteen-year-old girl

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Paul Gauguin

Biography:Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848 - May 9, 1903) was a leading Post-Impressionist painter. His bold experimentation with coloring led directly to the Synthetist style of modern art while his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral.

Born in Paris, he was descended from Spanish settlers in South America and the viceroy of Peru, and spent his early childhood in Lima. He was the grandson of Flora Tristan, a founder of modern feminism. After his education in Orléans, France, Gauguin spent six years sailing around the world in the merchant marines and then in the French navy. Upon his return to France in 1870, he took a job as a broker's assistant. His guardian Gustave Arosa, a successful businessman and art collector, introduced Gauguin to Camille Pissarro in 1875.

A successful stockbroker during week-days, Gauguin spent holidays painting with Pisarro and Cezanne. Although his first efforts were clumsy, he made visible progress. By 1884 Gauguin had moved with his family to Copenhagen, where he unsuccessfully pursued a business career. Driven to paint full-time, he returned to Paris in 1885, leaving his family in Denmark. Without adequate subsistence, his wife (Mette Sophie Gadd) and their children returned to her family. Gauguin outlived almost all of his children.

Like his friend Vincent Van Gogh, with whom he spent nine weeks painting in Arles, Paul Gauguin experienced bouts of depression and at one time attempted suicide. Disappointed with Impressionism, he felt that traditional European painting had become too imitative and lacked symbolic depth. By contrast, the art of Africa and Asia seemed to him full of mystic symbolism and vigour. There was a vogue in Europe at the time for the art of other cultures, especially that of Japan (Japonisme).

Under the influence of folk art and Japanese prints, Gauguin evolved towards Cloisonnism, a style the critic Édouard Dujardin had baptized Emile Bernard's cloisonne enamelling style with. Gaugin was very appreciative of Bernard's art and of his daring with the employment of a style which suited Gaugin in his quest for the expression of the essence of the objects in his art stripped of unnecessary aesthetic. In The Yellow Christ (1889), often cited as a quintessential Cloisonnist work, the image was reduced to areas of pure colour separated by heavy black outlines. In such works Gauguin paid little attention to classical perspective and boldly eliminated subtle gradations of colour — he dispensed with the two most characteristic principles of post-Renaissance painting. His painting later evolved towards "Synthetism" in which neither form nor colour predominate but each has an equal role.

In 1891, Gauguin, frustrated by lack of recognition at home and financially destitute, sailed to the tropics to escape European civilization and "everything that is artificial and conventional." (Before this he had made several attemtpts to find a tropical paradise where he could 'live on fish and fruit' and paint in his increasingly primitive style, including short stays in Martinique and as a worker on the Panama Canal). He remained in Tahiti and later in the Marquesas Islands for most of the rest of his life, returning to France only once. His works of that period are full of quasi-religious symbolism and an exoticized view of the inhabitants of Polynesia. In Polynesia he clashed often with the colonial authorities and with the Catholic Church.

He died in 1903 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery (Cimetière Calvaire), Atuona, Hiva ‘Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia.

Personality and Character Cards:
Personality and character cards are identical!

Paul Gauguin's Personality Tarot Card The Chariot - Personality Card

Birthday: June 7, 1848

A struggle or conflict, yet strong potential for triumph over adversity.

This year's Growth Tarot Card
Based on this year's birthday

Paul Gauguin's Growth Tarot Card The Hierophant

Birthday: June 7, 2017

Guidance on religious matters and the need to find spiritual meaning in life.




Portions of famous people database was used with permission from Russell Grant from his book The Book of Birthdays Copyright © 1999, All rights reserved. Certain biographical material and photos licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, from Wikipedia, which is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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