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Transcript of Paul Gauguin
Died May 8, 1903, in Atuona
His father, Clovis Gauguin, was a journalist and his mother, Alina Chazal, was the daughter of a proto-socialist leader.
When Gauguin was 18 months old, his father died leaving the mother alone with two children.
They lived in Peru for the next 4 years. Later, his family moved back to France.
He learned French because his first language was Spanish.
After a few years of studying, he joined the navy and served for two years.
While he was stationed in the Caribbean, he received news that his mother had died.
He returned to France and became a stockbroker at the age of 23.
For eleven years, he remained a businessman in Paris. EARLY LIFE Early Life As an Artist Influence of van Gogh van Gogh Tahiti Style Early Style Death Works of Late Life Paul Gauguin, Vision after the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel), 1888. Oil on canvas, 2' 4 3/4" x 3' 1/2". Paul Gauguin, D'Ou Venons Nous? Que Sommes Nous? Ou Allons Nous? (Whence do we come? What are we? Where are we going?) 1897. Oil on canvas, 4' 6 13/16" x 12' 3". Paul Gauguin, Manao Tupapau (Spirit Of The Dead Watching),1892. Oil on canvas, 28.5 × 36.4 in. Gustava Arosa, Gauguin's guardian, had a large collection of art work that was an influence on him.
Gauguin became good friends with Camille Pissarro.
With Pissarro's encouragement, Gauguin began collecting Impressionist paintings.
In 1883, he gave up his job to become a full-time painter. Early Influence Gauguin was influenced by the bright saturated colors of clothes in Peru from his childhood.
He was strongly influenced by Pissarro, Cezanne, and Bernard.
The still-life in this painting reflects a still-life by Cezanne that Gauguin owned. Marie Derrien. 1890. Oil on canvas. His early style was strongly influenced by Japanese prints.
Cloisonnism- a style in which an area of unbroken color is surrounded by bold outlines creating a clear-cut silhouette.
Reminiscent of stained-glass and Japanese prints.
He showed interest in simplification, patterns, the use of flat surfaces created by colors, and definite outlines.
Synthetic symbolism- refers to the flat style with heightened coloration that Gauguin used to "synthesize" two planes of reality The Vision after the Sermon (Jacob wrestling with an Angel)
Subject- the vision the women are experiencing.
Breton women are imagining the struggle.
This painting marks Gauguin's break from Impressionism.
Emphasizes the power of imagination, dreaming in front of nature.
There is an emotional use of color.
The use of thick paint emphasizes the shapes and makes them more prominent.
The tree divides reality from imagination/ human from spiritual.
The forms of Jacob and the angel are based on Japanese figures. "A word of advice: don't paint too much direct from nature. Art is an abstraction! Study nature, then brood on it and think more of the creation which will result, which is the only way to ascend towards God -- to create like our Divine Master."
- Paul Gauguin van Gogh wanted to establish a community of painters in his house at Arles. He wanted all of the artists to exchange self-portraits.
Gauguin sent van Gogh a self-portrait of himself with Emile Bernard in the background in exchange for van Gogh's self-portrait.
He described his abstracted face as flowers in a Persian carpet and that it was created from imagination rather than from nature. Gauguin and van Gogh developed a dangerous and tense relationship.
They lived together for two months and agreed on almost nothing.
Gauguin said that van Gogh liked his paintings, but after they were finished he always found a problem with them.
Their relationship quickly ended on Christmas Eve when van Gogh came at Gauguin with a razor blade and subsequently cut off his own ear.
Gauguin left for Paris and never saw van Gogh again. Influence Gauguin tried to capture primitive characteristics of life. He also tried to capture the remoteness of his scenes. Inspired by old religious narratives he paints many scenes including the fall of Eve and the tree of knowledge. Many symbols appear throughout Gauguin's work such as the tree of knowledge and a fox, which is an Indian symbol for perversity.
His work here began a new style for him. He no longer used strong outlines to define forms or established strong foregrounds and middle grounds. He drifted away from Japanese prints to a more traditional use of space. Gauguin went to Tahiti for many reasons other than to escape and start over.
He went because it provided new subject matter and life there was free from money difficulties.
He was drawn to the more primitive way of life.
He moved into a bamboo hut and lived with a 13-year old Tahitian girl. There, he dressed and lived like the natives.
Later, with money inherited from his uncle, he bought an apartment in the city. After his second trip to Tahiti, Gauguin suffered from syphilis that caused open sores all over his body. He was also having money problems.
He fell into a deep depression, and in January 1898, he tired to commit suicide by taking arsenic. In March, his financial situation improved and so did his health.
In 1901, he moved to Marquesas where he was imprisoned for three months in 1903.
He died on May 8, 1903 from complications. Gauguin's later work reflects his depressed state of mind and tragic life.
"I am demoralized, discouraged, that I don't think it possible anything worse could happen."
His self-portrait reveals his physical weakness and suffering. Emile Bernard Bernard was a good friend of Gauguin's, and like Cezanne, had an influence on his work. It is disputed whether Gauguin or Bernard developed the style they use. Whence do we come? What are we? Where are we going?
Gauguin painted this before he attempted suicide.
He painted on an old beat up canvas with wrinkles.
Gauguin meant for his painting to read from right to left.
He worked on it for one month before he tried to commit suicide.
He said that he used no models; it came straight from the brush.
Gauguin believed this to be his best work.
Many of the figures are taken from his earlier works. Spirit of the Dead Watching
Subject: Gauguin's 14-year old wife Tehura had an irrational fear of the darkness.
The old woman on the left personifies the spirit of death in her religion.
The strong colors represent the native's belief that phosphorescent lights were created by the spirit of the dead. They are represented by the white-green bed sheet. In reality the phosphorescence was created by a mushroom that grew in the trees there.
Another interpretation is Tehura's fear of Gauguin and his aggression towards her.
She is laying face down on the bed in an effort of shielding herself from him. Portrait of mother. 1894. Oil on canvas. Emile Bernard, Breton Women with Umbrellas. 1892. Oil on canvas. Paul Cezanne, Still-Life with Fruit Dish. 1880. Oil on canvas. The Lost Virginity. 1891. Oil on canvas. The Yellow Christ. 1889. Oil on Canvas. Te Arii Vahine (The Female Chief). 1896. Oil on canvas Soyez amoureuses et vous serez heureuse (Be in Love and You Will Be Happy). 1889. Wood Relief painted. Nave Nave Mahana (Days of Delight). 1896. Oil on canvas. Vairumati. 1897. Oil on canvas. Faa Iheihe (Decoration). 1898. Oil on canvas. Portrait of the Artist (at Golgotha). 1896. Oil on canvas. Self-Portrait. 1885. Oil on canvas. Bibliography Ally, Ronald. Gauguin. London: Hanlyn Group Limited, 1968. Print.
Arnason, H. H., History of Modern Art. New York: Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ and Harry N. Abrams, 1968.
Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, edited by Horst de la Croix and Richard G. Tansey, fifth edition. New York, Harcourt, Bract and World. 1970.
Rewald, John, The History of Impressionism. New York: Museum of Modern Art, fourth edition, 1973. "Paul Gauguin." Paul Gauguin Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works. The Art Story Foundation, 2002. Web. http://www.musee-orsay.fr/index.php?id=851&L=1&tx_commentaire_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=7087&no_cache=1 The baby represents new life.
The figure with its back to the viewer represents the realization of gender.
The boy picking the apple and the girl eating symbolize Adam and Eve's search for knowledge.
The old woman on the far left is shown on the verge of death.
The bird represents the futility of words.
Ultimate language over words.
The blue idol in the background represents "the beyond." Self-portrait with Portrait of Bernard (Les Misérables), 1888. 45 x 55 cm.