Gauguin, (Eugène-Henri-) Paul


Gauguin, (Eugène-Henri-) Paul

biographical name

(born June 7, 1848, Paris, France—died May 8, 1903, Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia) French painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He spent his childhood in Lima (his mother was a Peruvian Creole). From c. 1872 to 1883 he was a successful stockbroker in Paris. He met Camille Pissarro about 1875, and he exhibited several times with the Impressionists. Disillusioned with bourgeois materialism, in 1886 he moved to Pont-Aven, Brittany, where he became the central figure of a group of artists known as the Pont-Aven school. Gauguin coined the term “Synthetism” to describe his style during this period, referring to the synthesis of his paintings' formal elements with the idea or emotion they conveyed. Late in October 1888 Gauguin traveled to Arles, in the south of France, to stay with Vincent van Gogh. The style of the two men's work from this period has been classified as Post-Impressionist because it shows an individual, personal development of Impressionism's use of colour, brushstroke, and nontraditional subject matter. Increasingly focused on rejecting the materialism of contemporary culture in favour of a more spiritual, unfettered lifestyle, in 1891 he moved to Tahiti. His works became open protests against materialism. He was an influential innovator; Fauvism owed much to his use of colour, and he inspired Pablo Picasso and the development of Cubism.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Gauguin, (Eug{egrave}ne-Henri-) Paul, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Gauguin, (Eugène-Henri-) Paul? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More