Gauguin had a successful career as a stockbroker when at the age of 35 he decided to give up his career and family to become an artist. His best-known works are from his time spent in Tahiti. He personified the turn-of-the-century desire to return to a romantic idea of primitive life. Gauguin strove to capture the impulsive, instinctive immediacy of primitive art, which was his main influence. He was among the first to use color for purely decorative or emotional purposes – it is usually very saturated and intense and often has a symbolic meaning. He was a big influence for artist like Matisse and Picasso.
Key artwork: Woman With a Flower, 1891