He turned his Montparnasse studio into an eclectic salon for poets and artists. Playing for recognition, he dressed in a blue greatcoat with an astrakhan fez, carried a hand-carved cane and enhanced his striking image with yet another young mistress, the teenage Anna the Javanese, and her pet monkey. She accompanied Gauguin to Pont-Aven, where Gauguin planned to spend the summer of 1894. But instead of enjoying the artistic stimulus of Brittany, Gauguin soon found himself in a brawl with Breton sailors, who were picking on Anna and her monkey, that left him with a broken leg. While he was recovering, Anna returned to Paris and looted his apartment, putting an emphatic end to their months-long relationship.
Gauguin is regarded by many art critics as one of the best artists of all time. A leading French exponent of Post-Impressionism, who was a key influence on the history of art at the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Gauguin strove to express his inner emotions on canvas, largely through the use of colour. Supported by the art-collector Ambroise Vollard, Gauguin's unique style of French painting paved the way for Synthetism and Cloisonism (2-D style works featuring blocks of pure colour with black edging) as well as Primitivism. Influenced initially by French Impressionism, Gauguin is best known for his primitivist expressionistic works, characterized by flat areas of colour, painted when he lived in the South Pacific. Although not particularly appreciated during his lifetime, his Post-Impressionist painting had a huge impact on painters leading up to World War I, and beyond. His most famous expressionist paintings include: The Vision after the Sermon, (1888, National Gallery of Scotland); Brooding Woman (1891, Worcester Art Museum), The Spirit of the Dead Keeps Watch (1892, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY), Where Do We Come From, What Are We? Where Are We Going? (1897, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Nevermore (1897, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London), and the exquisite Girl with a Fan (1902, Folkwang Museum, Essen). Now regarded as one of the greatest modern artists, many of his paintings are available as prints in the form of poster art.
Gauguin had been interested in art since childhood, and in his free time began painting. As it was, Arosa was something of an art collector. His example, and Gauguin's own friendship with the Impressionist Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), encouraged Gauguin to visit art galleries and buy works by emerging artists, including numerous Impressionist paintings - by the likes of Pissarro himself, Johan-Barthold Jongkind (1819-91), Edouard Manet (1832-83), Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927), Paul Cezanne (1839-1906), Renoir (1841-1919), Degas (1834-1917) and Mary Cassatt (1845-1926). On one occasion he spent over 17,000 francs.
Like so many of the greatest artists, Gauguin lives larger in death than he ever did in life. Just weeks before he died, he wrote to a friend: " ... it is true that I know so little! ... and who knows whether that little, when put to good use by others, will not become something big."
After a spell at an artists' commune in Brittany and a famous period with his friend Van Gogh in Arles, he spent time in Martinique, and worked on a doomed French bid to build a canal across Panama. Eventually he sailed to Tahiti, where many of his most famous works were painted.
Frans Hals is often considered one of the most famous artists of the Dutch Golden Age. His characterful portraits of noblemen and paupers alike have provided onlookers with an insight into the lives of 17th century Netherlandish folk ever since. However, while Hals may be known for his depictions of boisterous drunkards; it is a lesser-known fact that he was himself known to have had a problematic relationship with alcohol too.
Vincent van Gogh is a name unfortunately synonymous with mental instability. His famous episode in which he cut off a part of his ear is among the most infamous in the history of art, and it serves as an unfortunate reminder of the darkness which came hand in hand with his creative genius. However, little is often made of the impact of alcohol on his life and the particularly damaging relationship that he (and many other artists of his era) endured with it.
Joan Mitchell is one of the most famous artists of the abstract expressionist movement which swept America in the 1960s. She was known for her big, bold explosions of color and movement dashed across the canvas and her close personal relationships with many of its other most important artists meant that she was right at the heart of its fast-paced and dynamic emergence into the popular consciousness.
However, like many of her fellow artists in this group, she was known to be a serious alcoholic. Much like her artistic hero, Van Gogh, she battled with depression and alcohol dependency all her life.
In reality, the psychological trauma of this upbringing, combined with both her desire to break down gender roles and her close relationships with other debauched artists and creatives, meant that drink served as a means of self-medication for the ills of her own health and society at large.
Amazingly, Krasner mourned her husband as if he had been a saint. She immediately returned from France to attend his funeral and spent the rest of her life managing the sale of his estate to museums and galleries around the world. She would eventually set up a foundation which shared both their names, and which continues to support emerging artists to fund their practice, acquire supplies, and rent space to work.
By John SewellBA & MA Art History, University of BirminghamJohn holds both a BA and an MA in Art History from the University of Birmingham, UK. His academic research focussed on nineteenth and early-twentieth century depictions of narcotics use, addiction and race-relations. However, his interests extend far beyond this; and his work covers an array of topics from many different periods and locations around the world. Alongside writing, he is also the founder of Eazyl - an online art marketplace for emerging artists which charges no commission fees.
Before Gauguin arrived, the two artists exchanged many letters outlining their creative strategies and each dedicated a self portrait to the other. The paintings revealed how they perceived themselves.
V-Collections Gauguin and Van Gogh theme cubes in the Art Emotions Series bring to life the works of these great artists and offer the opportunity to Turn&Learn as you solve the cleVer Cube.
But Gauguin was a talented painter who pushed the boundaries of late 19th century art. Those who know nothing about the man find his works skilful and beautiful. He inspired later artists like Matisse and Picasso. And he is not the only artistic genius to have had serious character flaws.
So then I believe that it is your duty and mine to demand comparative wealth just because we have very great artists to keep alive. But at the moment you are as fortunate, or at least fortunate in the same way, as Sensier if you have Gauguin and I hope he will be with us heart and soul. There is no hurry, but in any case I think that he will like the house so much as a studio that he will agree to being its head. Give us half a year and see what that will mean.
Although his birthday is technically tomorrow, June 7, we like to celebrate our artists. Although he was not overly appreciated while he was alive, the artwork Paul Gauguin is certainly appreciated today. And to recognize him as the genius he is, we wanted to share some fun facts about Gauguin and share some of his art!
French artist Paul Gauguin is best known as painter, composing canvases that moved beyond Impressionism and went on to influence artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. The Art Institute's new retrospective highlights Gauguin's lesser-known work as a multimedia artist, examining his talents as a sculptor, ceramist and printmaker through a collection of 240 pieces. 2b1af7f3a8