Paul Gauguin was raised until the age of seven in Peru, where his parents had fled from the political regime of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. He joined the navy at the age of 17, which allowed him to travel the world and satisfy his taste for the unknown. After his mother's death, the guardianship of the family was entrusted to Gustave Arosa, a collector of paintings, who introduced him to the artistic world of the Impressionists.
His meeting with Pissaro encouraged him to try his hand at painting. However, Gauguin was unable to make a living from his art, which led him to separate from his family. His travels and meetings with artists such as Van Gogh influenced his art. The success of one of his pieces, bought by Degas, finally allowed him to leave France and settle in Tahiti where he satisfied his thirst for colour and his primitive style.
There he met several natives who became his models and bore him children. He ended his life in poverty, painting 25 pictures a year for Ambroise Vollard, who paid him 300 francs a month to live on. Gauguin died of syphilis and left behind a bad reputation.