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Gaughin Essay, Research Paper

Paul Gauguin was a French painter born on June 7, 1848 in Paris. Earlier in his life while at Peru he lived a successful life as stockbroker with his wife and five children. After seeing his first impressionist exhibit in 1874 Gauguin started to collect and to paint and at the age of 35 Gauguin then leaves his family and children to devote this entire life to painting.

Gauguin used oil to paint and his style of painting was impressionism. Impressionism is a technique that was developed in France during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The most obvious characteristic of Impressionism is the attempt to accurately and objectively record visual reality in terms of transient effects of light and colour. But during 1886 to 1891 while in Brittany Gauguin made a transition from impressionism to a more naturalistic style which he called synthetism.

Gauguin’s most powerful and influential period was after 1895 when he spent the rest of his life in the tropics. While he lived on the island of Tahiti he created some very beautiful masterpieces. His subjects in the paintings ranged from the ordinary lives of the Tahitian women to ugly scenes of death. Then on May 9, 1903 Paul Gauguin passes away at the age of 45 while living in Marquesas.

I have very many reasons as to why I chose Gauguin. Even though Gauguin spent his elder years in the tropics and I have never gone anywhere near it I have seen, however, how the tropics look like and I like the atmosphere and the environment of it very much. I think Gauguin also liked it very much in the tropics that is why he spent the rest of his life there to paint his surroundings which include palm trees and people. I, on the other hand, only painted palm trees and marine animals with no human beings involved.

Another reason as to why I chose Gauguin is because we use similar colour schemes throughout our paintings. Gauguin’s colours are very bold and vibrant which give a very joyous and, at the same time, peaceful feeling. I wanted my paintings to look very much like paradise with a joyous and peaceful feeling to it that is why I also chose bold and bright colours for my series of paintings.

My transition from one technique of painting towards another technique was also similar to Gauguin’s transition from impressionism to synthetism. I first used abstraction in my paintings and eventually I moved on into paintings that looked more real and natural. Gauguin did the same thing. He went from painting impressionistic paintings to a more natural style.

At the beginning of my series, my brush strokes were hugely different from Gauguin’s brush strokes. But by a few paintings before my appropriation of one of Gauguin’s paintings, my brush strokes become more and more like Gauguin’s. His brush strokes seem to be very precise, but at the same time very soft and painterly. At the beginning of my series, my brush strokes were very calculated, but by end of my series I just painted in strokes were it looked like it would fit in.

It was because of all these reasons that I chose Paul Gauguin to appropriate. I know I made the right choice because our paintings are so similar in so many ways, but no matter how much I paint or how much effort I put into my paintings I will never be good enough to compare to the great Paul Gauguin.


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