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Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) had a series of unsuccessful ventures in finance, the French Navy, and as a salesman. He started painting in 1873 and exhibited alongside Pissarro, Degas, and Monet three years later. Known for his tempestuous nature, Gauguin referred to himself as a "savage". His tumultuous friendship with Vincent van Gogh reached a breaking point in 1888, when van Gogh confronted him with a razor blade and later mutilated his own ear. Following the completion of his midcareer masterpiece Vision After the Sermon (1888), Gauguin sought escape in Tahiti to embrace the authenticity and freedom he craved.

In Tahiti, Gauguin found inspiration in the island's nature, people, and figurative images, resulting in a prolific output of vibrant paintings and prints. His distinctive Primitivist style, seen in works like Woman with a Flower (Vahine no te Tiare, 1891) and Sacred Spring: Sweet Dreams (Nave Nave Moe, 1894), exuded radiant color and sensual depictions of Tahitian women. Gauguin passed away alone on the Marquesas Islands, with his personal belongings scattered in a local auction. It was only when a discerning art dealer curated and showcased Gauguin's work in Paris that his profound influence emerged, captivating avant-garde artists like Picasso and Matisse.

This book provides an essential introduction to Gauguin's colorful life, from his participation in the Impressionist salons of 1870s Paris to his final days in the Pacific, characterized by productivity and unwavering passion.

    Explore related artwork by Paul Gauguin at the Chrysler Museum

    Product Details

    • English edition
    • Product Type: Monograph, Hardcover
    • 96 pages, with 100 illustrations
    • Publication Date:
    • Shipping Dimensions: 10.2 × 8.3 × 0.6 inches
      (25.9 × 21.1 × 1.5 cm)
    • Shipping Weight: 1.24 lb (19.8 oz; 562 g)
    • SKU010002442 | ISBN: 9783836532235

    About Ingo F. Walther

    Ingo F. Walther (1940–2007) was born in Berlin and studied medieval studies, literature, and art history in Frankfurt am Main and Munich. He published numerous books on the art of the Middle Ages and of the 19th and 20th centuries. Walther’s many titles for TASCHEN include Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Art of the 20th Century, and Codices illustres.

    About the Artist, Paul Gauguin

    Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) was a visionary artist whose bold exploration of color, form, and subject matter pushed the boundaries of traditional art. Born in Paris, Gauguin began his artistic career as a self-taught painter while working as a stockbroker. However, his passion for art led him to abandon his career and dedicate himself fully to his creative pursuits.

    Gauguin's artistic journey took him from France to the exotic landscapes of Tahiti and the South Pacific, where he sought to escape the constraints of Western civilization and immerse himself in the vibrant cultures of indigenous peoples. His works reflect his fascination with non-Western cultures, as he delved into themes of spirituality, mythology, and the raw beauty of nature. Gauguin's use of bold, vibrant colors and simplified forms, influenced by his encounters with Post-Impressionist artists like Vincent van Gogh, became hallmarks of his distinctive style.

    Despite facing financial and personal challenges throughout his life, Gauguin left an indelible mark on the art world. His art, characterized by its emotive power and expressive nature, continues to captivate audiences with its profound exploration of the human condition and its timeless allure. Gauguin's innovative approach and his unwavering pursuit of artistic freedom cemented his status as a pioneer of modern art and an enduring influence on subsequent generations of artists.

    About Taschen

    Since its inception in 1985, the Taschen's Basic Art Series has evolved into the most successful collection of art books ever published. Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Art History series boasts around 100 color illustrations accompanied by explanatory captions, a detailed and illustrated introduction, and a carefully curated selection of the epoch's most significant works. These works are presented on a two-page spread, featuring a full-page image alongside an interpretation, as well as a portrait and a concise biography of the artist.

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    Thank You for your Support

    Your purchase supports the mission and programs of the Chrysler Museum of Art (including the Perry Glass Studio, and the Moses Myers House). We couldn't do what we do without you. Thank you.

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