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Religious/ Spiritual

Paul Gauguin

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Paul Gauguin in my mind had one of the most interesting life stories of any artist.  Gauguin wasa born in Paris, France on June 7th, 1848, but only three years after his birth his family moved to Peru due to the political climate in France at the time.  His Father died on the voyage to Peru where Gauguin spent the next four years of his life.  Eventually, he made it back to France where made a good living as a stockbroker and married Mette Sophia Gad.  Gauguin had always enjoyed painting and in 1883 he made a drastic choice and gave up his buisness and dedicated his life to painting.
 
It is sad to say, but when Gauguin devoted his life to painting, his wife and family seperated themsleves from him.  Gauguin was off on his own exploring Impressionism and developing what he called Synthetism, which involved pure color patterns, strong outlines, and flat planes.  Gauguins most impressive works of this period include Vision after the Sermon/Jacob Wrestling with the Angel and the Yellow Christ.  Gauguin was a friend of another famour painter, Vincent Van Gogh, and spent 9 weeks painting with him during 1888.  Gauguin did not have the same success financially as an artist as he did as a strock broker.  After a lot of frustration and depression Gauguin sailed to Tahiti to escape Europe. 
 
Gauguin embraced Tahiti with a lot of affection.  He enjoyed the colors and untainted environment where he lived with the natives of the land.  He lived in Tahiti until he became ill in 1893 and returned to France.  His paintings once agian failed financially, but he did inheirit a bit of money from an uncle.  In 1895 Gauiguin returned to Tahiti once again.  His health did not improve and he endured several strokes until he died in 1903 on the Marquesas Islands.  Gauguin wasn't the most respected artist during his lifetime, but in todays modern art he is a very influential artist.  He is known for his color and line of his paintings along with the mystery he brought into each one.
 
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FORMAL ANALYSIS:
The Yellow Christ

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Subject:  Personal Function; Religious/ Spiritual
 
Subject Matter:  A yellow Jesus is on the cross set in the ninteenth century in France.  He is surrounded by Breton women praying in the feilds.
 
Form:  Oil on Canvas, 91.1 cm by 73.4 cm.  Gauguin uses aerial perspective to show the hillsides in the background of the painting along with the colors red, green, and yellow to show the autum season.  He uses very bold lines to express his figures. 
 
Content:  This painting is interesting becasue it shows the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, but set in France.  It takes place in the nineteenth century and the religious Breton women in the painting are kneeling around Jesus praying.  Not one of the women are looking at Jesus up on the cross, but are looking away and at the ground in respect.  This painting is more of a personal painting becuase Gauguin is not trying to get any social message out of it.  He is painting devoted peasent women in prayer to show the dedication that these Breton women had to thier religion.  Gauguin painted this in Pont Aven France in 1889. 

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