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Comparison between Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin

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Toulouse-Lautrec is well known for the posters he made to advertise dance or musical performances in cafes and theatres. He would outline his figures but only color the images partially to draw attention. Sometimes he would draw caricatures of famous dancers like Jane Avril to make the posters more attractive. In his posters and lithographs, broad flat colors and graphics outlines were influenced by Gauguin’ s style. Lautrec died young, at the age of thirty-seven, a pessimist already notorious for his portrayal of human degradations. Gauguin, on the other hand, was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth and started working as a stockbroker.

Only later he turned to a full-time artist. He was a friend of Pissaro and had his paintings exhibited along with other impressionist artists but without any financial success. He became disillusioned with impressionist style and moved towards Cloisonnism, characterized by flat areas of bold and unusual colors and outlines. Japanese two-dimensional art form had an important contribution in this phase of Gauguin’ s art. One of his most characteristic painting in this phase is The Yellow Christ. Gauguin was also known for using unusual colors for unusual places.

His use of bright and bold colors reflected is emotions and feelings. Sometimes he would paint the sky yellow, mountains red and grass orange. Shown below is a painting known as Landscape at le Pouldu (The Isolated House). However much Japanese art was appreciated in the then Parisian society, Gauguin’ s new style was not recognized as a stroke of genius. His personal life went through a series of change around this time. He left his family and moved to Brittany where he painted Vision after the Sermon.

For some time, he also worked with van Gogh but after a while, their difference of opinions rose to such a degree that van Gogh cut off a part of his ear. Gauguin left and took a job as a laborer in Panama Canal construction albeit only for two weeks. Finally, he sailed for Tahiti and a large number of his most famous paintings were done there.

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