Paul Gauguin, ‘Head of a Bearded Man with a Head of a Dog [recto]’, 1884-1888, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
overall: 16.9 x 11.4 cm (6 5/8 x 4 1/2 in.)

About Paul Gauguin

A pioneer of the Symbolist art movement in France, Paul Gauguin is renowned for his “savage” art depicting sumptuous Tahitian women, nude bathers and haystacks in the Breton landscape, and decorative door panels around his hut on the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. Although Gauguin began his artistic career with the Impressionists in Paris, during the 1880s he sought to escape from Western civilization—first moving to Brittany and Arles in France, where he met Van Gogh, and then to French Polynesia—in search of a paradise were he could create pure, “primitive” art. “There is no such thing as exaggeration in art,” wrote Gauguin in 1885. “And I even believe that there is salvation only in extremes.”

French, 1848-1903, Paris, France, based in Atuona, French Polynesia

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