Gauguin, Paul

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), the emblematic figure of post-impressionism, was revered, particularly by the Nabis, who saw him as a messiah of modern art. Leader of the Pont-Aven school and painter of the tropics, the "savage" Gauguin had an exceptional personality. His life, marked by his friendship with Van Gogh and his journeys to Polynesia in search of authenticity, resembles a captivating novel. His work reflects this uncompromising temperament. Born of Impressionism, Gauguin developed a personal body of work, both painted and sculpted, oriented towards a formal synthesis imbued with mysticism.

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From 1886, Paul Gauguin embarked on a life of travel, beginning with a stay in Pont-Aven, Brittany, on the advice of his friend, the painter Armand Félix Marie Jobbé-Duval. There, he met Émile Bernard, an influential Cloisonnist artist. Back in Paris, he met Vincent Van Gogh for the first time. In 1888, Gauguin returned to Brittany for a second stay, where he exchanged ideas with the painters of the Pont-Aven school. He quickly became the movement's leader, taking on the role of mentor and advocating a return to the essential, with an inclination towards symbolism. It was during this period that he created such landmark works as Vision après le Sermon in 1888, Le Christ vert in 1889, and La Belle Angèle the same year.