Paul Gauguin was a French post-impressionist artist, one of the fathers of modern art, inspiring the avant-gardes of the early twentieth century, who was born in Paris on June 7, 1848, and died on May 8, 1903, at the age of 53, in the Marquesas Islands, archipelago of French Polynesia.
One of the curiosities about Gauguin is that he was of Peruvian descent on his mother’s side; in fact, for political reasons that affected his father, the family moved to Lima, Peru, around 1851, a city where they lived until 1855, the year in which they returned to France, when Gauguin was 7 years old.
The stay of little Gauguin in the territory of the descendants of the Inca Empire, for some of his scholars, sows in him the gem that will awaken years later in his interior, consisting of the sensibility, interest and attraction for life of the aboriginal settlers in close coexistence with nature, their traditions and customs, which leads this artist to move away from civilized life, to go to places like Martinique, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands, favorable scenarios to make a work uncontaminated by Western culture, purest, original and spiritual (1).
Gauguin lived a full life as a stockbroker, a job he shared in his spare time with painting. But after a crisis in the financial market this artist abandons that work and decides to devote himself entirely to art. He exhibited with the Impressionists, worked with Pissarro, Degas, Cézanne and Van Gogh, until he became disenchanted with Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism and decided to explore new techniques to renew his way of painting. His experience living with nature, the landscape, the customs, and traditions of the inhabitants of the aforementioned territories transforms his personality and his pictorial style.
Gauguin’s post-impressionist painting is characterized by the simplification of forms, exclusion of depth, of perspective; use of pure, very expressive colors that accentuate the flat configuration of the figures; suppression of shadows, chiaroscuro; application of a thick and dark line that delimits the contours of the images, a technical procedure known as “cloisonnism”, of an ornamental nature; symbolist painting with subjective, irrational and spiritual content.