He was born on 7 June 1848 and died on 8 May 1908. His father is a left-wing journalist and, when Gauguin was three, he and his family left Paris and went to Peru to Lima; meanwhile his father dies of malaria and he remains with his mother. At 7 he returns to Paris and at 17 he joins the navy and does military service. He devotes himself to business and becomes a stockbroker, thanks to which his life becomes more comfortable; he marries a Danish girl with whom he will then have 5 children.
description of the artistic movement of post-impressionism
He begins to paint self-taught as a hobby, knows the impressionists whose paintings he will collect and manages to participate in exhibitions after 1880, their art will become more and more pregnant in his life so much so that at 38 years old, taking advantage of an economic crisis in France, he leaves everything and devotes himself completely to art; for this he leaves with his wife who returns to Copenhagen with the children that he will never see again.
He passes over poverty due to his poor beginnings, his paintings are laughed at and in order to live he is forced to attack. He is called the painter of fugues because he wants an uncontaminated and pure environment, his impatience with him leads him to travel:
-Brittany (northern France), he goes to a small town, Pont-Aven, where there are many artists.
-He returns to Paris and leaves for Panama where he thinks he will find a pure town but he is unable to paint due to his misery and is forced to participate in the excavations of the Panama Canal
-He returns to Paris and success doesn’t seem to come; in 1888, under the insistence of Van Gogh’s brother -Theo-, he leaves for Arles but the union between the two does not work
-He leaves for Tahiti where he finds a heavenly environment, purer and more genuine, where he manages to find a direct relationship with nature even if the French colonizers impose their rules on the natives and he criticizes them and for this he is frowned upon by the authorities of the ‘island. Meanwhile he builds the “pleasure house” where he paints, tries to sell the paintings but is unsuccessful and for this he tries to poison himself following a depressive crisis.
-Subsequently he moves and goes to the Marquesas Islands (France) where he still fights for the natives until he is accused and will have to be imprisoned but dies first.
His paintings are an evolution of painting; initially he clearly detaches himself from the impressionists by painting the reality he sees.
In his painting he uses memory because he wants to express his feelings which, however, have matured within him and have become memories, memory; if the feeling has become memory then it becomes thought.
“Yellow Christ”: painted in Brittany, it is characterized by some peculiarities. Dominated by a large crucifix as they often appear in the countryside; under which there are three women kneeling to pray. The background is a rural landscape that conveys a feeling of calm and serenity.
The colors mainly used are the primary and the secondary ones, given with flat and wide spots; they are not natural colors but memories, yellow dominates in the painting assuming the value of symbolic union between the masses of wheat and the Messiah.
The main feature of this painting is the blue contour line that encloses the figures called Cloisonnisme, a technique that was used in medieval showcases, identified the lead wire that joined the windows.
The subject is shifted to the left and the cinematic cut (of the Impressionists) is used and the perspective is given by the receding color spots. His style becomes more characteristic because it is affected by some primitive cultures such as Egyptian art and Japanese prints.
“Tahitian girls with mango flowers“: we see a feeling of love for the natives, rediscovering the relationship with nature; it represents with genuineness, even if naked, the two women who offer mango flowers to foreigners, they have a pure and without malice look as opposed to “Olympià” in which the woman had a bewitching look.
The temporal depth is used, the figures are flat and without depth since it is a memory.
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