Paul Gauguin: Cats in Exotic Paintings

Paul Gauguin — a French painter who is well known for the use of bold colors, exaggerated body proportions and stark contrasts. He paved the way to the Primitivism form of art from post-Impressionism era. Cats are seen in many of his works.

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin (

Paul Gauguin was born in Paris on June 7, 1848, but his family moved to Peru when he was a young child. His mother wan author and activist in early socialist movements and his journalist father died on the journey to South America. To the age of six, Gauguin enjoyed a privileged upbringing, attended by nursemaids and servants. He retained a vivid memory of that period of his childhood which instilled indelible impressions of Peru that haunted him the rest of his life.

Still-Life with Fruit and Lemons (1880)

Still-Life with Fruit and Lemons (1880) (SPA LIVING)

In 1871, Gauguin became a stockbroker after he returned to Paris and met Camille Pissarro who was a leading figure of Impressionism, and be influenced by him largely. Gauguin began painting in his spare time. Next 11 years he was very successful at this job. With the crash of the Paris stock market in 1882, he started to pursue painting full time.

Cats in Paintings

paul gauguin, mimi and her cat 1890

Mimi And Her Cat by Paul Gauguin (Wikiart)

Paul Gauguin, Flowers and Cats

Paul Gauguin, Flowers and Cats (Wikipedia)

Tahitian Man, Woman and Cat by Paul Gauguin

Tahitian Man, Woman and Cat by Paul Gauguin (Pinterest)

Paul Gauguin - Cat Toru Potii

Paul Gauguin — Cat Toru Potii (

One Summer with Van Gogh

Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers, 1888

Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers, 1888 (Wikimedia)

Gauguin worked one summer in an intensely colorful style alongside Vincent Van Gogh in the south of France in 1888. Both Gauguin and Van Gogh were searching for the place to inspire them to create new art. Van Gogh was excited about his project to make a community for artists to start a new movement and sent letters to possible ones. Van Gogh rented a home he called the “Yellow House,” which would serve as a “Studio of the South” and invited Gauguin to join him there. Gauguin, at the time financially struggled, accepted the offer to come to Arles because Van Gogh’s brother Theo wrote him he would cover all the expenses including food, paints, travel expenses and monthly allowance in part.

The Night Cafe, Arles, 1888

The Night Cafe, Arles, 1888 (Wikipedia)

Gauguin and Van Gogh respected each other and had been working well… for a while. However, their communal life ended by a tragic incident. Van Gogh’s illness revealed itself: he began to hallucinate and suffered attacks in which he lost consciousness, and this time he used the knife and attacked Gauguin. Instead of hurting Gauguin, Van Gogh cut his lower part of his left ear. Later Van Gogh remembered nothing about it. Gauguin left theYellow House. It’s only been nine weeks in Arles for Gauguin.


More details The Yellow Christ (Le Christ jaune), 1889, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

The Yellow Christ (Le Christ jaune), 1889, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. (Wikipedia)

Cloisonnism is a method of painting with flat areas of color and bold outlines, which reminded Dujardin of the Medieval cloisonné enameling technique. Under the influence of folk art and Japanese prints, Gauguin’s work evolved towards Cloisonnism. Gauguin appreciated this style in his quest to express the essence of the objects in his art.

paul gauguin portrait 1889

Paul Gauguin portrait 1889 (

If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.

Paul Gauguin Quotes (AZ QUOTES)


Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Flowers

Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Flowers (C’est La Vie)

Gauguin developed a new style that combined everyday observation with mystical symbolism, a style strongly influenced by so-called primitive arts of Africa, Asia, and French Polynesia.

Gauguin’s first visit to Tahiti in 1891, changed his life forever. After returning in Paris, he came to settle down in Tahiti later. Gauguin’s avowed intent was to escape European civilization and everything that is artificial and conventional.

Paul Gauguin, By the Sea

Paul Gauguin “Fatata te Miti (By the Sea)” (Sur un Boeing Bleu de Mer)

Various communities of French Polynesia and other non-western cultures influenced Gauguin’s view of life, he treated his painting as a philosophical meditation on ultimate meaning of human existence. He expected to find the answers on how to live closer to nature while fulfill the religious mind.

Arearea by Paul Gauguin

Arearea by Paul Gauguin (

Paul Gauguin, The Invocation

Paul Gauguin “The Invocation” (WIkipedia)

Do not copy nature. Art is an abstraction. Rather, bring your art forth by dreaming in front of her and think more of creation.

Paul Gauguin Quotes (AZ QUOTES)

Where do We Come From? What Are We Doing? Where are We Going

Paul Gauguin, Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?

Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going? (Wikimedia)

He wished, before dying, to paint one great, last testamentary picture, and summoning all his strength in a single burst of energy he painted this canvas his largest. This is the one, which depicts the human life cycle on a vast canvas. Finished with his western civilization and the conventional value, left his wife and children behind, tried to be closer to nature came to this paradise.

Gauguin died on May 3, 1903 at this isolated island home, alone. Had he found the answer and the ‘truth’ he’d been seeking for at last?

Life has no meaning unless one lives it with a will, at least to the limit of one’s will. Virtue, good, evil are nothing but words, unless one takes them apart in order to build something with them; they do not win their true meaning until one knows how to apply them.

Paul Gauguin (Proverbia)


Paul Gauguin (THE ART STORY)
 Paul Gauguin Biography (bio.)
 Paul Gauguin (1848–1903, French) (THE GREAT CAT)

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Originally published at Johnny Times.

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