As an outcome of all the setbacks he faced after returning from Paris, Gauguin painted this beautiful masterpiece because of his renewed affirmation, especially because of his rebellious spirit. One close look at the portrait and you will immediately realise that behind the subject in the portrait, there is a sort of mirror image where he put the Manau Tupapau (which translates to The Spirit of the Dead Keeps Watch). According to Gauguin, this work was among the most important while staying in the Pacific. There is also a yellow and blue sarong to the right, which is a clear depiction that the painting is full of exotic bric-a-brac. Furthermore, he overlays an image of a feral artist, which shows a wide range of ‘primitive features.
The primitive features of the untamed artist were easily achievable by his ruggedness in painting, especially how he used rough material canvas and simple brushwork. Moreover, behind the subject, there is the lightly distorted face of William Molard, his young friend, who was instrumental in helping him get his work noticed by the public. Essentially, the two sides of this painting offer an incredible summary of his winter stay in Paris between 1893 and 1894. The stay was his stepping stone into primitivism panting style.
A lot of artists played a vital role in shaping Paul Gauguin's artistic career. However, a significant chunk if his influence and inspiration were Gustave Arosa, his legal guardian. He had an art collection by various incredible artists like Eugene Delacroix, Jean-Francois Millet and Camille Corot. All of these artists piqued his interest and that is how he started painting together with a fellow stockbroker, Emile Schuffenecker. Also, you can realise that most of his influences came from art purchases from artists like Monet, Sisley, Manet and Pissaro, among others. Many notable names in the history of art were influenced by Gauguin's work. Some of these artists were Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Arthur Frank Mathews and Henri Matisse. His influence in art is still felt today.