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Gauguin Self Portrait, 1895 | by Mr. History
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Gauguin Self Portrait, 1895

Paul Gauguin

French, 1848-1904

Oil on canvas

"for my friend Daniel"

 

Paul Gauguin, more than any other artist of the 19th century, perhaps, has become a romantic symbol, the personification of the artist as rebel against society.

 

After years of wandering, first in the merchant marine, then in the French navy, he settled down, in 1871, to a prosaic but successful life as a stockbroker in Paris, married a Danish girl, and had several children. For the next 12 years the only oddity in his respectable, bourgeois existence was the fact that he began painting, first as a hobby and then with increasing seriousness.

 

Then, in 1883, he suddenly quit his position to paint full time. By 1886, after several years of family conflict and attempts at new starts in Rouen and Copenhagen, he had largely severed his family ties and isolated himself, and become involved in the little world of the impressionists, whom he first met through Camille Pissarro.

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Taken on January 28, 2017