Gauguin was a Post-Impressionist, painter, printmaker (wood engravings and wood cuts) and ceramist. His paintings influenced by the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. Gauguin was an intimate friend with Vincent Van Gogh. Under the influence of folk art and Japanese prints, Gauguin evolved towards Cloisonnism, a method of painting with flat areas of color and bold outlines. He moved to Punaauia in 1897, where he created the masterpiece painting "Where Do We Come From" and then lived the rest of his life in the Marquesas Islands, returning to France only once, when he painted at Pont-Aven. Gauguin's relationship with Van Gogh was rocky during the nine weeks they spent together painting in the latter's Yellow House in Arles. Van Gogh confronted Gauguin with a razor blade and in a panic at a local brothel, cut off the lower part of his left ear lobe. He wrapped his ear lobe in newspaper and handed it to a prostitute named Rachel, asking her to "keep this object carefully." Gauguin and Van Gogh never saw each other again.
Selected Collections: Art Institute of Chicago Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Guggenheim Museum, New York City Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles Louvre Museum, Paris The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Musée d'Orsay Collection, Paris Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas Museum of Fine Arts, Boston