Paul Gauguin
French Post-Impressionist artist



We do our best to use images that are open source. If you feel we have used an image of yours inappropriately please let us know and we will fix it.


Our writing can be punchy but we do our level best to ensure the material is accurate. If you believe we have made a mistake, please let us know.


If you are planning to see an artwork, please keep in mind that while the art we cover is held in permanent collections, pieces are sometimes removed from display for renovation or traveling exhibitions.

Paul Gauguin
French Post-Impressionist artist
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Date of Birth

June 07, 1848

Place of Birth

Paris, France

Date of Death

May 08, 1903

Place of Death

Fatu-Hiva, France

Arty Fact

More about Paul Gauguin

  • All
  • Info
  • Shop
ldare's picture

Sr. Editor

Paul Gauguin made a great living as a stockbroker while pursuing art on the side (something all parents would prefer we did).

In 1873 he married Mette-Sophie Gad and had five children. They lived at 21 rue la Bruyère in Paris not far from his buddies Camille Pissarro and Paul Cezanne.

Mette-Sophie forced the family to move to her native Denmark in 1884 and Gaugain became a tarp salesman. He sucked at sales in Denmark because he couldn’t speak Danish and the Danes didn’t want his dirty French tarps.

One day in 1885, at 37 years old, Gaugain had a mid-life crisis and went out to buy milk and never came back. He returned to Paris and picked up painting full time.

For a short time Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh were roommates in the Yellow House. Theo van Gogh needed someone to secretly look after his brother and report back on changes to his mental health and Gauguin needed money.

Vincent seemed to worship Gauguin telling Theo all about their work and the great advice Gauguin gave even though Vincent had a hard time applying it to his work. Gauguin on the other hand was an arrogant asshole who merely tolerated Vincent. During a period of particularly bad weather the two artists were forced to spend a smidge too much time together inside the apartment and they got in an argument over a shared prostitute. Most historians say van Gogh cut off his own ear but there are a few who claim Gauguin and his expert swordsmanship as the one who did the cutting. Gauguin got the hell out of Arles and never saw van Gogh again. Gauguin liked to embellish the truth and “confessed” years later that it was entirely true and that he’s a total BAMF (yawn).

Gauguin went all hipster on painting deciding that European art was way too mainstream and started island hopping through the Pacific Islands. He fetishized the native population and slept with pretty much every woman who would have him. He also gave them all syphilis, including his 14-year-old "wife".

Gauguin died from an overdose of morphine and/or a heart attack and is buried at Atuona in the Marquesas Islands.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Paul Gauguin

Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (UK: /ˈɡɡæ̃/, US: /ɡˈɡæ̃/; French: [ø.ʒɛn ɑ̃.ʁi pɔl ɡo.ɡɛ̃]; 7 June 1848 – 8 May 1903) was a French Post-Impressionist artist. Unappreciated until after his death, Gauguin is now recognized for his experimental use of color and Synthetist style that were distinct from Impressionism. Toward the end of his life, he spent ten years in French Polynesia. The paintings from this time depict people or landscapes from that region.

His work was influential on the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, and he is well known for his relationship with Vincent and Theo van Gogh. Gauguin's art became popular after his death, partially from the efforts of dealer Ambroise Vollard, who organized exhibitions of his work late in his career and assisted in organizing two important posthumous exhibitions in Paris.

Gauguin was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramist, and writer. His expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way for Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was also an influential proponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Paul Gauguin.