Paul Gauguin

Today (June 7) is the birthday of Paul Gauguin (1848), one of art history’s most castigated figures. It is oft told that he quit a career in the stock market and abandoned his family for life as an artist, but it may be that his wife, at least, was glad to be rid of him. His early paintings fall into Impressionism, but he soon moved to develop a new style. His quest for authenticity led him from Paris to Brittany, a region cut off from modernity in the 19th century. After some time there, he left for Panama, Martinique, and, most famously, Tahiti. His styles ranged from Symbolism to Primitivism, which Picasso would later adopt. While in Brittany, Gauguin painted Vision After the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel). He didn’t want the painting to look real, but rather like a spiritual vision. He flattened the spaces and used color as an abstract element. Note the red field where Jacob and the Angel wrestle. Visit the gallery this weekend, and maybe, like the Breton churchgoers, you too can have a religious vision. Open Thursday through Saturday, noon until 4.

(Click image for larger view)

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#gauguin #frenchartist #symbolism #primitivism #postimpressionism #tappahannockartistsguild

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