Born in Paris, Gauguin's family had Peruvian heritage on his mother's side and it was their move back here which sadly led to the passing of Paul's father.
Lima was the earliest home for this young boy, where he would start to take in influences from early primitive cultures. He instinctively held a different viewpoint to many of the colonials who continued to live in the capital at that time.
Traditional clothing and art continued to interest a young Gauguin and it was also soon that his family's socialist values would start to be passed onto this budding artist. In some ways, there are similarities to Frida Kahlo who also would embrace her traditional culture.
The family would then return to France, where Paul would learn French alongside his existing Peruvian Spanish. Having attended various schools he would join the merchant marine and French navy, where he completed his national service.
Gauguin took on several transformations before arriving as an artist, firstly as a successful stockbroker, then businessman. Once settled down, Paul uprooted to Denmark with his wife and five children but their marriage was not to last and he returned to France.
Paul headed to Martinique as a way of coping with his unstable mind before then sailing to French Polynesia soon afterwards. He was now totally sick of western society and in need of a new direction. His travels would also take in Tahiti and Hiva Oa Island and he would use these exotic locations as inspiration for his work.
Gauguin produced a significant amount of work during his time in these islands but he was eventually to pass away in 1903 after contracting syphilis which was exacerbated by his heavy drinking.