Paul Gau­guin 1848-1903

Plagued by health is­sues and decades of de­pres­sion, Gau­guin was de­ter­mined To end his life on his own Terms

All About History - - TORTURED ARTISTS -

A stock­bro­ker in Paris, Paul Gau­guin ini­tially ven­tured into art as a hobby, his in­come from sell­ing paint­ings mere pocket money com­pared to his city ca­reer. How­ever, af­ter the Paris stock mar­ket crashed in 1882, Gau­guin de­cided to em­brace paint­ing full­time while trav­el­ling the French colonies. But in Mar­tinique, he caught dysen­tery and malaria and was so un­well that he was forced to re­turn to France.

A drunken brawl in 1894 left Gau­guin with a shat­tered an­kle that never truly healed. A year later, Gau­guin left for the French colonies, never to re­turn to Europe again. In 1897, in debt and on the brink of the banks fore­clos­ing, Gau­guin heard the dev­as­tat­ing news that his daugh­ter, Aline, had died. Heart­bro­ken, Gau­guin com­pleted what he be­lieved to be his mas­ter­piece, walked to a nearby hill and at­tempted sui­cide by con­sum­ing ar­senic. His en­deav­our was un­suc­cess­ful and he awoke throw­ing it up. How­ever, his health never re­cov­ered and he even­tu­ally died in prison in 1903.

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