Gauguin’s paintings are redolent of the South Sea islands, full of exotic women, vibrant flora, and brilliant color. In addition, his scenes range from normal life in France’s Brittany, to Provence where he painted and lived briefly with Vincent van Gogh, to French Polynesia. Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was born in Paris on June 7, 1848. After Napoléon III became the president of France, Gauguin’s family left for Peru in December 1849. They remained there four years at which point they returned to Paris. An early exposure to a non-European lifestyle and culture undoubtedly opened Gauguin’s mind to his later fascination with the Caribbean and with Tahiti and the peoples of those islands he portrayed so eloquently. Gauguin, a banker, started painting in his spare time. He never had any formal art training but set about painting as a hobby with commendable amateur skill. His first paintings were inspired by Corot and the Barbizon School and featured romantic naturalist subject matter. He soon aligned himself with the Impressionists, but is now labeled by art historians as a Post-Impressionist. Gauguin called himself a Synthesist. His technique was often called Cloisonnisme.
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