Read Paul Gauguin: The Search For Paradise: Letters From Brittany And The South Seas by Paul Gauguin Free Online
Book Title: Paul Gauguin: The Search For Paradise: Letters From Brittany And The South Seas|
The author of the book: Paul Gauguin
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Loaded: 1866 times
Reader ratings: 5.8
Edition: Collins & Brown Limited
Date of issue: 1992
ISBN 13: 9781855851016
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.28 MB
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Always on the move - he was brought up in Lima and worked in Paris and Brittany - Paul Gauguin left France for good in 1891 to settle in Tahiti. The canvases he sent back were to have a profound influence on 20th-century art; their revolutionary use of brilliant pure colour and rejection of naturalism were an inspiration to a generation of younger artists, from Matisse to Picasso. Indispensible to an understanding of this complex man and the artistic, commercial and personal pressures that drove him, are his own letters and other writings, which contain explanations of pictures that meant a great deal to him and what he was trying to achieve in his work, and evocative descriptions of Tahitian life. This is a collection of extracts from Gauguin's correspondence - to his wife in Denmark, his agent in Paris and his friends, including Strindberg and Van Gogh - and from his journals "Noa Noa" and "Avant et Apres". The extracts are juxtaposed with illustrations of his oil paintings, watercolours and letter sketches.
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Read information about the authorGauguin was a financially successful stockbroker and self-taught amateur artist 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. Pissarro and Edgar Degas arranged for him to show his early painting efforts in the fourth impressionist exhibition in 1879 (as well as the annual impressionist exhibitions held through 1882). In 1882, after a stock market crash and recession rendered him unemployed and broke, Gauguin decided to abandon the business world to pursue life as an artist full-time.
In 1886, Gauguin went to Pont-Aven in Brittany, a rugged land of fervently religious people far from the urban sophistication of Paris. There he forged a new style. He was at the center of a group of avant-garde artists who dedicated themselves to synthétisme, ordering and simplifying sensory data to its fundamentals. Gauguin's greatest innovation was his 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.
In Brittany, Gauguin had hoped to tap the expressive potential he believed rested in a more rural, even "primitive" culture. Over the next several years he traveled often between Paris and Brittany, spending time also in Panama and Martinique. In 1891 his rejection of European urban values led him to Tahiti, where he expected to find an unspoiled culture, exotic and sensual. Instead, he was confronted with a world already transformed by western missionaries and colonial rule. In large measure, Gauguin had to invent the world he sought, not only in paintings but with woodcarvings, graphics, and written works. As he struggled with ways to express the questions of life and death, knowledge and evil that preoccupied him, he interwove the images and mythology of island life with those of the west and other cultures. After a trip to France (1893 to 1895), Gauguin returned to spend his remaining years, marred by illness and depression, in the South Seas.