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Monday, January 16, 2012

Gauguin, Paul


Where Are You Going? or Woman Holding a Fruit
1893
oil on canvas
92.5 × 73.5 cm (36.4 × 28.9 in)
The Hermitage Museum
http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/

Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903) was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist.

Gauguin was a financially successful stockbroker when he began collecting works by the impressionists in the 1870s. Inspired by their example, he took up the study of painting under Camille Pissarro. In 1882, after a stock market crash and recession rendered him unemployed, Gauguin decided to abandon the business world to pursue life as a full-time artist. In 1891 his rejection of European urban values led him to Tahiti, where he expected to find an unspoiled culture. Instead, he was confronted with a world already transformed by western missionaries and colonial rule. Gauguin had to invent the world he sought and he interwove the images and mythology of island life with those of the west and other cultures.

Gauguin was an important figure in the Symbolist movement. His greatest innovation was the use of color, which he employed not for its ability to mimic nature but for its emotive qualities. He applied it in broad flat areas outlined with dark paint, which tended to flatten space and abstract form. This flattening of space and symbolic use of color would be important influences on early twentieth-century artists.
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/flipcard