Paintings, Colors and Self-Portrait Introduction Research Proposal

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Pissarro took a special interest in his attempts at painting, emphasizing that he should 'look for the nature that suits your temperament', and in 1876 Gauguin had a landscape in the style of Pissarro accepted at the Salon. In the meantime Pissarro had introduced him to Cezanne, for whose works he conceived a great respect-so much so that the older man began to fear that he would steal his 'sensations'. All three worked together for some time at Pontoise, where Pissarro and Gauguin drew pencil sketches of each other (Cabinet des Dessins, Louvre).

Gauguin settled for a while in Rouen, painting every day after the bank he worked at closed.

Ultimately, he returned to Paris, painting in Pont-Aven, a well-known resort for artists.

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Le Christ Jaune (the Yellow Christ) (Pioch, 2002) Still Life with Three Puppies 1888 (Pioch, 2002)

In "Sunny side down; Van Gogh and Gauguin," Martin Gayford (2006) asserts differences between van Gogh and Gauguin:

Two more mismatched housemates than Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin would be hard to find. Van Gogh was unkempt, emotionally unstable and talked incessantly while he worked. Gauguin, a former sailor and businessman, was taciturn, orderly and a loner. Yet from October to December 1888, the two shared a four-roomed yellow house in Arles until, after a quarrel, Van Gogh cut off his ear. Gauguin fled for Paris and the two never saw each other again.

Gauguin believed in painting "from the head": from the imagination and from memory, slowly bringing together elements on canvas in a symbolic and cerebral way. Van Gogh, on the other hand, wanted to paint directly from nature. Not only did he find it exhilarating to respond spontaneously to the colour all around him, he also found it consoling; it helped release the flood of ideas exploding in his head. Van Gogh, Mr. Gayford says, suffered from bi-polar disorder, a severe form of manic depression which can now be treated with lithium but which then was undiagnosed. Ruminating on art, as Gauguin advised, was dangerous for Van Gogh, bringing back painful memories that drove him mad. (Gayford, 2006, ¶ 1 & 5)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

In his art, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec captured the Parisian nightlife of the period. Toulouse-Lautrec, (1864-1901). Born on Nov. 24, 1864, in Albi, France, Toulouse-Lautrec, aristocrat, the son and heir of Comte Alphonse-Charles de Toulouse and last in line of a family dating back a thousand years, begun to draw and paint by the time he was 10 years old.

Toulouse-Lautrec, a weak and frequently sick only child, broke his left leg when 12 years old; at 14, he broke his right leg. At this time, his bones failed to properly heal and stopped growing. His body trunk grew to of normal size; however he had abnormally short legs and was only 1.5 meters tall. Toulouse-Lautrec focused his life on his art; living in the Montmartre section of Paris, where he painted scenes from this center of the cabaret entertainment and bohemian life. His subjects included circuses, dance halls and nightclubs, racetracks recorded canvas or made into lithographs. Toulouse-Lautrec actively participated in the colorful activity he captured on canvas. While he sat at a crowded nightclub table, laughing and drinking, he would swiftly sketch scenes. In his studio, the next day, he transformed the sketches into bright-colored paintings. To blend into the Montmartre life, and protect himself from ridicule of his appearance, Toulouse-Lautrec started to drink heavily. "In the 1890s the drinking started to affect his health. He was confined to a sanatorium and to his mother's care at home, but he could not stay away from alcohol" (Toulouse-Lautrec, 2002). After Toulouse-Lautrec died on Sept. 9, 1901, his paintings and posters, particularly the Moulin Rouge group command high prices.

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At the Moulin Rouge (Toulouse-Lautrec, 2002).

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Alone (Toulouse-Lautrec, 2002).

Paul Signac

Paul Signac's encounter with Impressionism, particularly Monet's work, influenced Signac to leave his architecture studies, and begin to paint. Charles Henry, one of Signac's mentors, also a scientist, underpinned Signac's theory of color with scientific fact.

When Signac painted his favorite motifs, Mediterranean landscapes, he generally usually included the sea and boats he loved. Signac was significant as a leading and eloquent exponent of Neo-Impressionism in theory and practice, while he also influenced succeeding generations of artists and promoted Henri Matisse and Andre Derain, Signac also smoothed the way to Fauvism.
"His formally abstract Pointillist technique also formed the basis for 20th-century tendencies to dissolve both object and space, specifically Cubism" (Seurat, 2002). Prior to his death in Paris on 15 August 1935, Signac rigorously observed the rules of Pointillist colou theory as he created a great many watercolors, which consequently allowed him more freedom of expression.

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LA SALUTE, 1908 (Signac, N.d.).

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Venise-le nuage rose, 1909 (Signac, N.d.).

Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne, whom some considered a genius in the art world, was born January 19, 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, France. He died. October 22, 1906 in Aix-en-Provence. This French painter became one of the greatest of the Postimpressionists, with works and ideas influencing the aesthetic development of many 20th-century artists and art movements, particularly Cubism. The public often misunderstood and discredited Cezanne's art during most of his life. Through its insistence on personal expression, along with the integrity of the painting itself, Cezanne's style evolved from Impressionism; eventually challenging the conventional values of painting in the 19th century. Cezanne, some contend, was the father of modern painting.

Abduction, rape, and murder: these are themes that tormented Cezanne. Abduction (c. 1867, 90 x 117 cm (35 x 46 in)), an early work full of dark miseries, is impressive largely for its turgid force, held barely under his control. These figure paintings are the most difficult to enter into: they are sinister, with passion in turmoil just beneath the surface.

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The Abduction 1867

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Modern Olympia c. 1873-74

Georges Seurat

Born December 2, 1959 in Parix, Georges-Pierre Seurat studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1878 and 1879. Rembrandt and Francisco de Goya strongly influenced Seurat, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres influenced the man who instructed Seurat in his artwork. Seurat served in the military for a year; stationed at Brest, where he exhibited his drawing Aman-Jean at the official Salon in 1883. The Salon, albeit refused panels from Seurat's painting Bathing at Asnieres. By 1884, so Seurat and numerous other artists founded the Societe des Artistes Independants. In 1886, Seurat's famous canvas Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Jatte reigned as the centerpiece of an exhibition. By this time, Seura stayed in Paris during the winters where he drew and produced one large painting each year,. During the summers, he lived on France's northern coast. During the 34 years Seurat lived, he produced seven monumental paintings, 60 smaller ones, drawings, and sketchbooks. As Seurat kept his personal life private, his friends did not know of his mistress, Madeline Knoblock, the model for his painting Young Woman Holding a Powder Puff until after his sudden death in Paris on March 29, 1891 (Seurat, 2002).

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Vase of Flowers

Claude Monet in "Claude Monet: Impressionism's leading light," Charles F. Stuckey (1995), who worked with Frances the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, notes Charles Monet to be a primary figure of Impressionism, one of the primary revolutions in the history of art.

Along with Edouard Manet, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley, Monet forced art to address the frequently unacknowledged, yet commonplace, type of visual experience, the glance. The term "impression" as it defines thes primary goals the artists pursued, denotes "the sensory information registered on the retina prior to thought of any sort" (Stuckey, ¶ 2). Before the eye recognizes faraway pedestrians, Stuckey explains, it sees them as tiny black spots. In his "Water Lilies" paintings, Monet accents the flowing planes, the seemingly uniformly shaped water lily blossoms, to introduce an irregular grid structure. Monet " reduced conventional pictorial composition to modulate fields of one or two tones each, creating all-green, all-blue, interlocking blue and green, and green and orange planes some 50 years before other painters equaled such daring" (Stuckey, ¶ 3).

The planar fields and the modularly arranged water lilies proffered beginning artists two new and seemingly inexhaustible pictorial modes; taken separately or in tandem. Monet encouraged younger artists that when they went out to paint, they needed to try to forget what particular objects loomed before them, whether it were a house, a tree, a field or whatever. "Merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives.....

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