Collection: Paul Gauguin

French painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) started his adult life as a stockbroker. Married and with three children, he seemed destined to settle into a comfortable bourgeois existence in 19th-century Paris. But at the age of 35 he felt compelled to paint, quitting his career and leading to financial troubles that would plague him throughout his life. His disdain for middle-class life ultimately landed him in Tahiti. There, he did not settle into city life with other ex-patriots, but rather chose to live among the native islanders in a more primitive and simple style. He took a Tahitian wife who bore him a son. After several years of ill health he died of stroke in 1903.