Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
French post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin was born in Paris and had no formal artistic training. He spent his early childhood with his mother in Lima, Peru. As a young man he worked on the stock exchange in Paris. During the French stock market collapse his wife with his five children left him, so he pursued painting as a full-time career. In 1891, Gauguin moved to Tahiti. He returned to Paris in two years, but in 1895 he made his second and the last voyage to Tahiti and Marquesas Islands, where he died at the age of 55.
Fame came to the artist after his death in 1906, when 227 of his works were exhibited in Paris. A crater on Mercury is named in honor of Gauguin.
Words of the Devil
This is one of the most mystical Gauguin’s paintings. A naked young Tahitian woman standing in a lagoon tries to cover her body with a kerchief as she becomes uncomfortably aware of the presence of a spirit figure kneeling behind her. Below the artist’s signature and date in black on the canvas is inscribed in orange the title, “Parau na te Varua”, which in translation means “Words of the Devil”.
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