Paul Gauguin

5 May 2017

Paul Gauguin: Vision After the Sermon Paul Gauguin was born to a Journalistic father and a socialistic mother June 7, 1948. As a young child, Gauguin’s parents decided to start a new life in a new city due to the political climate. Tragedy stole away Gauguin’s father on their Journey to their new life. Spending a few years in Peru, the city in which his father dreamed of living, Gauguin moved back to France, his birth place. Still young, Gauguin began to pursue excellence in his schooling, learning new things like French. As mandated by his country at the time, Paul had to enter the military.

At age seventeen, he decided upon a military career as a merchant marine. After serving for three years, he decided to join the naw in which he remained for another two years. Gauguin finished serving his country in 1871; he decided to move back to Paris obtaining a stock brokering Job. He met a lady in which he found beautiful, and in 1873, marries Mette Sophie Gad, of Danish decent. Multiplying was an easy task for Gauguin and his spouse, the bore 5 children in ten years. Art had always had a special place in Gauguin’s heart. He would paint and visit galleries often. His mentor was Vincent Van Gough, who taught

Paul Gauguin Essay Example

Paul many things. As Gauguin got older he appreciated artwork more and more, forming friendships with other known artists in 1881, he rented a studio in which he would paint and show artwork. Gauguin wanted to provide for his family, so he decided to move to Copenhagen to pursue stockbroking which would provide financial stability. Feeling lost without his art, he decided to leave his family, his career, and return to Paris to his artwork. Leaving his family meant that they had no source of income, forcing them to take up residence with his wife’s family. Gauguin lived longer than two of his own children.

Gauguin became a close friend to his mentor Vincent Van Gough, the two spent months painting together. During this time, it became clear that his life was not what he expected, and he became depressed. Depression led to a suicide attempt and he knew that he needed to find a spark to get his life back on track. He was drawn to symbolism, vigor, color, and excitement in artwork. Gauguin was upset because his artwork was not being recognized by his fellow neighbors, so he set sail to escape to a place where his work would be appreciated. Over the years, he presented several pieces of work which were full of ymbolism and exotic views.

Toward the end of his life, Gauguin experienced trouble with the law; he was sentenced to three months behind bars. During this time he become sick due to an illness called syphilis and died before he was escorted to prison. At 54 years old, an alcohol and tobacco weakened body was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, Polynesia. Throughout his life he became known for his boldness on a canvas, his use ot color and thick line. He stepped out ot the comtort zone ot ni time and created pieces that stood out. Gauguin died an artist. Although Gauguin created many pieces, his accomplishments were post-life.

He created work that generations after him would appreciate; he never found fame during his lifetime. The Vision After the Sermon is an oil painting on canvas, 74. 4 x 93. 1 cm. Gauguin’s stylized painting depicts the scene in which Jacob wrestles an angel. This scene was influenced by a narrative from the Bible. Aside from the wrestle match taking place in the upper right hand area of the painting, the bottom of the painting, wrapping around to the upper left hand side is a crowd of women praying and watching this match. The women are wearing black wardrobes and white headpieces, almost nun- ike figures.

Running straight through the middle of the canvas in a diagonal line is a tree, separating Jacob and the angel from a cow. Gauguin represents a noticeable red background color adding to the drama. He uses a typical brown and green for the tree, and black and white colors for the cow and praying women. The painting has mostly flat areas filled with color and outlines by a thick black line. The painting also has a bird’s eye point-of-view look, objects getting smaller the further away they are. In this painting. Gauguin paints the fgures almost void of color. The story that

Gauguin painted was about people having a religious experience. Looking at the picture it is confusing to decipher the meaning because Paul used symbolism and boldness to express the story. He places a large tree trunk diagonally through the canvas which separates physical from a spiritual realm. The struggle taking place is symbolic because it represents the everyday human struggle in life. The angel wants to give Jacob something, but only when he is deserving of it. Yet Jacob wants it right away. The ladies are facing away from the viewer, as if we are excluded from the story in which they are watching unfold.

Gauguin constructed a piece that religiously represented nature in a sense that we all struggle. This painting is a point-of-view on many perspectives of the religious story, not necessarily portraying religion. The style in which Paul Gauguin worked is known as Post-Impressionism, nineteenth century France. The subject matter reflected in these paintings include poetic subjects, myths, biblical stories, and French symbolism which he learned while he lived in France. Typically, Gauguin used boldness of line and unrealistic color to express his thoughts as he did in the Vision After the Sermon”.

In his work, Paul used linear methods and extreme colors to leave a sense of mystery in his creation. Paul Gauguin was not like other artist of his time; he didn’t want to create the traditional western naturalistic style. Instead of nature as inspiration, he abstracted figures and created symbols. Gauguin’s mentor was Vincent Van Gough; Paul stepped away from his mentor to create his own style of art. Obsessed with trying to do something different from his time of artist painting Impressionistic pieces, he made this painting Nision After the Sermon” to overturn the theories surrounding Impressionism.

The way in which he painted Vision After the Sermon” would become known as synthetism at his time by his society. During Gauguin’s life, he witnessed many historical events like the stock market crash in 1882 that led to his becoming a full- time artist. Only a few years after becoming a full-time artist, Paul conceived the bold painting Vision After the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling With the Angel”, in 1888. During Paul Gauguin’s time, King Louis Philippe rules and the city was in chaos. Horrible living conditions ot poverty and lack ot wealth, unemployment, and protest ontributed to this chaotic status in Paris, France.

France was not an exciting place to live during Gauguin’s time; the king was a tyrant and made the lives of the lower class tough. France was mostly Christian based because the Christians had destroyed the pagan and primitive lifestyle and this led to the various perspective of ideas in the painting. In “Paul Gauguin: His Life and Art” by John Gould Fletcher the author explains that is Gauguin would have known his future of a life of struggle, hunger, and never becoming famous in his life time, the artist would still have pursued his rtistic career, “daring everything, as he strode into the future”.

Gauguin painted pieces that he knew would take the public some time to accept. Nonetheless, he wanted material comfort, he wanted his artwork to bring him wealth. Although he did not receive materialistic things in life, in death he received a name for himself, and his artwork would be remembered in future generations. The Paul Gauguin Museum in Tahiti is a museum remembering Gauguin for all his accomplishments and achievements. John Gould Fletch also writes “Though he never conquered the flesh… e remained to the end, and man… ertainly the better stone in which to build”. Gauguin wrote a letter a few days before death, received after death, he ended his life with these thoughts, “l am on the ground but I am not beaten”. Gauguin created work that had potential and possibilities, yet he was a problematic individual. He abandoned his family, uprooted himself when he felt that his work was not being appreciated. He was hungry for attention, and he died early due to his obsessive alcohol and tobacco usage. In the Vision After the Sermon”, he managed to obtain a strange atmosphere.

The colors that he portrayed give the mysterious, unreal feeling that he would rather focus on making something magic-like, than factual. From the standpoint of a viewer, the artist portrayed a personal struggle in front of an audience to watch the action take place. This portrays a Judgmental aspect. For a crowd to surround a struggle of this nature represents interest, mystery in “what’s going on”, and Judgment. Gauguin should have portrayed the struggle in a personal manner, secluded. This artist’s use of colors attracts an eye, but he is more worried about stranding out.

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