Born Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin in Paris, France, was a descedent of Spanish settlers in South America and the viceroy of Peru. He spent his early childhood in Lima. After his education in Orleans, France, Gauguin spent six years sailing around the world in the Merchant Marine and then in the French Navy. Upon his return to France in 1870, he took a job as a broker's assistant. His guardian, Gustave Arosa, a successful businessman and art collector, introduced Gauguin to the impressionist painters.
A successful stockbroker, Gauguin became a collector and amateur painter. By 1884 Gauguin had moved with his family to Copenhagen, where he unsuccessfully pursued a business career. Driven to paint full-time, he returned to Paris in 1885, leaving his family in Denmark. Without adequate subsistence, his wife and children were forced to return to her family. Like his friend Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin suffered from bouts of depression and at one time attempted suicide. In 1891, financially destitute, he sailed to the Tropics to escape European civilization and "everything that is artificial and conventional. " He remained first in Tahiti and later in the Marquesas Islands for most of the rest of his life, only once returning to France.
He was a very important post-impressionist French painter, whose work helped provide the basis of modern art. Gauguin's bold experimentation with coloring led directly to the fauvist style of the 20th century. The record price paid for a Gauguin painting is US$35 million.
"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."
"I shut my eyes in order to see."
"Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge."
"We never really know what stupidity is until we have experimented on ourselves.Life is hardly more than a fraction of a second. Such a little time to prepare oneself for eternity!"