Paul Gauguin was born in Paris, France, of a French father and a Peruvian mother. He lived in Lima where he served in the merchant marine from 1865 to 1871 and traveled in the tropics. Gauguin later worked as a stockbroker's clerk in Paris but painted in his free time. He began working with Camille Pissarro in 1874 and showed in every Impressionist exhibition between 1879 and 1886. By 1884 Gauguin had moved with his family to Copenhagen, where he unsuccessfully pursued a business career. He returned to Paris in 1885 to paint full-time, leaving his family in Denmark. He traveled to Panama and Martinique in 1887 in search of more exotic subject matter.Gauguin turned to primitive cultures for inspiration,having returned to Paris, Gauguin auctioned his paintings to raise money for a voyage to Tahiti. Two years later illness forced him to return to Paris, where, with the critic Charles Morice, he began a book about Tahiti. Gauguin was able to return to Tahiti in 1895. In 1899 he championed the cause of French settlers in Tahiti in a political journal, and founded his own periodical, Le Sourire. In 1901 the artist moved to the Marquesas, where he died.
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