Gauguin by Himself

Paul Gauguin

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Gauguin by Himself. by Paul Gauguin.. Gauguin by Himself is unique in its approach, giving equal weight to Gauguin's activities both as an artist and as a writer.

It provides a rare insight into his intractable character and uncompromising ideas and follows the extraordinary and complex development of his art from hesitant impressionism, through the experimental synthesis of his Breton paintings to the striking color and powerful forms of his Tahitian work. His letters to his wife and friends, including many to fellow painters such as Pissarro and Van Gogh, comment freely on contemporaries such as Cézanne, Monet and Degas, and challenge head-on the aesthetic concerns of avant-garde Paris in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. They also chart Gauguin's increasingly hazardous travels around the globe in pursuit of his elusive ideal of the primitive; from Paris and Copenhagen to Brittany, Provence, Panama, The West Indies and finally to the South Pacific. His words are both abrasive and confrontational and yet, as we hear him bemoaning his misfortunes and solitude in exile, they also reveal the vulnerability of the disillusioned self-styled 'savage', who, despite chronic illness and disappointment, never lost his intense love of making art. Illustrated with over 230 of his most powerful and decorative works of art, Gauguin by Himself offers a fresh look at the diverse faces and talents of a man who chose to live outside the bounds of bourgeois marriage, family and society, and eventually many miles from his native homeland, in order to fulfill his vocation as a 'great artist'.

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