Van Gogh and Gauguin - Two Artists With Tangled Fates

If list a person who had the most great impacts on Van Gogh, it can probably say Gauguin without hesitation. For Van Gogh, the presence of Gauguin was almost like the intention of God, determined his life.

One day in the autumn in 1886, Van Gogh stayed in Paris and encountered Gauguin firstly. He just met Lautrec, Signac and some others. The strong personality and qualities of leadership of Gauguin attracted the attentions of Van Gogh immediately. With the increasing times of communications, Van Gogh gradually adopted the painting techniques of Impressionist, thus his works began to show the bright and distinctive colors never had in the past.

After two years later when Van Gogh came to Paris, at the end of winter, due to the advice of Lautrec, he left for Provence at one evening of the early spring alone. At that time, the high-spirited and vigorous, free-spirited and confident Gauguin was the object Van Gauguin yearning for. And the dream of living with Gauguin grew with each passing day. At that time, Van Gogh was 35, Gauguin was 40.

Van Gogh’s feelings towards  Paul Gauguin were the respects and honors to senior, the desires and jealousies for great artists and the love and anxiety of friends, staggered and complex. When Gauguin decided to move to the studio in the south, Van Gogh was cheerful and ecstatic. The long-suffering loneliness was eased, because there was no need to rely on others to indicate direction as long as he had Gauguin.

Cafe Terrace Place Du Forum Arles

Cafe Terrace Place Du Forum Arles

During the month preparing for greeting Gauguin was the happiest moment of Van Gogh to some extent. In fact, he created the masterpieces like “Sunflowers”, “Starry Night”, “Night café”,  and “Van Gogh’s bedroom” in such a short time.

In October 1888, during the first weeks Gauguin came, they had a harmonious and beautiful life. Talking to Gauguin with the directive attitudes, Van Gogh only had to listen to commands honestly.

The faiths of Van Gogh were not allowed to be twisted, this was a prominent part of his character, and also often was the reason that his friends misunderstood him. But at this time, the attitude he towards Gauguin was sufficient to show the extent of his admiration to Gauguin.

However, during the time they lived together, because the personalities of them were far cry, the imaginations of Gauguin were unusual to Van Gogh who only could draw at present scenery. In addition, Van Gogh’s attitudes toward the use of materials and the fund collection were disorganized, and he was accused by nervous and serious Gauguin several times. But what made them upset was that, Van Gogh was eager to get the feelings of Gauguin, but Gauguin who hated being constrained did not response to his request. With various reasons, their life became cold gradually.

Besides, the debates on arts also caused the altercations in life repeatedly. In December, Van Gogh realized that Gauguin attempted to leave. For Van Gogh, losing Gauguin meant losing his life. He was with a heavy heart and hard to extricate himself.

Thus, on December 23, 1888, Van Gogh handed a sharp razor and caught up with Gauguin who was having a walk on the street suddenly. Gauguin looked at him surprisingly with stern eyes and serious expressions. Van Gogh had no further behavior and bowed his head, walked away.

When Gauguin returned to home the next day, he found that Van Gogh wrapped in a quilt and was covered in blood. It turned out that after Van Gogh cut off his ears and gave them to his closet prostitute, he curled up in the house unconsciously. Gauguin left the words “Please tell him, I’m going back to Paris” and took the early bus to Paris. After the event of cutting ears, their cohabitation was announced to fail completely.

Later, Van Gogh suffered from periodic mental illness, was attacked repeatedly and miserable, until he committed suicide. The direct cause that made Van Gogh pull the trigger was the tragic ending of living with Gauguin. The artistic achievements of Van Gogh were outstanding, but the power was from the strong pursuit of love. But, even if he got Gauguin, it still could not satisfy his desire. May be there was god could meet him.

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