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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Paintress Gretchen's art history lesson

It has come to my attention that even though I went to art school, I know very little about art and art history. With this in mind, I've decided to do a little studying, and share with you my discoveries. For no good reason, I've decided to start with Paul Gauguin...

A brief, flippant, and shockingly ignorant history of Paul Gauguin.

By Gretchen Baer

Paul Gauguin was born in Paris in 1848.
Here he grew up, got married, had children, became a stockbroker, and painted part-time (not necessarily in this order).

At 35 years old, he decided to dump the stockbroker routine in order to paint full-time.
This didn't go over too well with his family, so three years later, he dumped them as well.

Around this time, he decided to shack up with none other than Vincent Van Gogh.
This roommate situation didn't work out too well. The two fought constantly and hated each other.

On Christmas Eve, Van Gogh attempted to attack Gauguin with a razor, but did not succeed.
He then decided to cut off his own ear instead. Gauguin wisely split the scene.

Gauguin then moved into a kindly friend's family home. He removed their pictures from their walls, and put up his own. He then took over his friend's studio, and locked the whole family out.
Good idea? Not really.

Things weren't going very well, so at 42 years old Paul split for greener pastures...Tahiti.
Here he painted a lot, and brought his work back to Paris for a flop of a show.
Paul was guilty of inventing the culture, religion and customs of the Tahitians, and this left the Parisian people scratching their heads and saying "What the f*#K?"

Lucky for Paul, an uncle died and left him a big inheritance. He promenaded around Paris in fancy waistcoats until he got everything stolen from him by a lover.
Broke again, at 47 years old he decided to move to Tahiti for good, never to return.

Here he painted tons of cool stuff, but was sick with syphilis, and alcoholism.
He fought with the (white) authorities a lot and was about to be sent to jail, but died instead.
He was 54 years old.

As soon as he died, he became a huge success.
The End


  1. this makes me feel as though I have graduated the Gretchen Baer Speed Art History Class of 2010!

  2. Oh there's plenty more lessons to go, and tests too!

  3. I love your history lesson! More more more!!! :D Wait, what kind of tests are we talking about here... syphilis tests? :|

  4. Among other things.
    I too can't wait for the next history lesson. I'll have to do me some learnin' first, though.

  5. this is great....Art Cliff Notes love it!

  6. ummm... did you say there would be tests?