This volume aims to give equal weight to the full range of Gauguin's activities both as an artist and a writer. His letters, including many to fellow painters such as Pissarro and Van Gogh, comment freely on contemporaries such as Cezanne, Monet and Degas, and meet head-on the changing aesthetic concerns of avant-garde Paris in the last two decades of the 19th century. They also chart his increasingly hazardous travels around the globe in pursuit of his elusive idea of the "primitive" from Paris and Copenhagen to Brittany, Provence, Panama, the West Indies and finally the South Pacific. Illustrated with over 200 of his most powerful and decorative works of art, the text offers a look at the diverse faces and talents of a man who chose to live outside the boundaries of society in order to fulfil his vocation as a "great artist".
Belinda Thomson is an art historian whose specialist interest in nineteenth- and twentieth-century French art.