The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is hosting an exhibit of paintings by 19th century French artist Paul Gaugin. The gallery is calling it “Gaugin: Maker of Myth” — because that sounds better than “Gaugin: Big Fat Liar.”
As this story from the Los Angeles Times points out, the expert opinion is that Paul Gaugin was a hell of a painter.
That’s 1890’s Landscape at Le Pouldu.
Gaugin was also a shameless self-promoter. Or, as one expert says, “a self-indulgent scoundrel.” Likewise, the article points out that these days Gaugin’s personal life can dampen enthusiasm for his art for the more socially conscientious art lover.
Gaugin ditched his wife and five children so he could sail the South Pacific in search of paradise. That’s part of it. Then there’s his “colonialist exploitation of young Polynesian girls” and his 13 year-old mistress.
But he could paint!
That’s Haystacks in Brittany, also 1890.
To see the Who2 biography of Paul Gaugin, go here.
To see the online companion to the exhibit, go here to the National Gallery of Art.
Or go directly to the gallery’s index of their Gaugin collection.