On June 7, 1848 Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin was born in Paris France. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement and his bold experiments with color paved the way for Primitivism. Gauguin worked in many different styles throughout his life, including Impressionism, Cloisonnism, Synthetism and Primitivism. His work is notable for its rich, saturated colors, and bold lines. His influence can be seen in works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Henri Matisse.
Gauguin married a Danish woman, Mette-Sophie Gad, in 1873 and together they had five children. They moved to Copenhagen, Denmark where he attempted to become a stockbroker. Their marriage fell apart eleven years later when Gauguin pursued painting and his wife asked him to leave. His last contact with his family was in 1891, and he outlived his second and third children, Aline and Clovis.
In 1888, Gauguin spent nine weeks in Arles with his friend Vincent Van Gogh where he experienced bouts of depression and attempted to commit suicide. He traveled to Martinique, Panama and finally Tahiti where he wrote his book "Noa Noa" which celebrated the Tahitian lifestyle. He ended up dying from an overdose of morphine and a possible heart attack at 54 years old.
Gauguin's work became extremely popular after his death. In fact, many post-humous exhibitions were held for his paintings in the beginning of the 20th century. View a sampling of his work below.