David Sweetman’s Paul Gauguin: A Life is a little hard to come by (must not have sold well). I happened across it in our local library a few years ago and then picked up a used copy from Amazon. I am amazed the book isn’t more widely available as I feel it is one of the more compelling and well-written artist bios I have read.
David Sweetman paints an intimate portrait of the enigmatic 19th century artist who bridged the gap between the formal pre-impressionistic artists and the post-impressionistic symbolists. I enjoyed Gauguin’s story as much as the broader historical context of his life. Here was a man who worked as a sailor and then as a stock-broker who experienced enough success to begin collecting art – a passion which eventually moved him to give up his career and pursue his art obsessively. He faced extraordinary difficulties – he was cast off by his wife, rejected by critics for being too revolutionary and fought constant depression. Eventually Gauguin made his way to the tropics where he created some of his most influential works.
If you are lucky enough to pick up a copy of the book, jump at it. This rare volume would make a great addition to your library. Keep your eye out on this Amazon page for used copies.
Have you Read Any Great Art Books Recently?
I love reading about art history and am always looking for recommendations. Have you read a great book recently? Share your recommendations in the comments below.