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Whose birthday am I celebrating today?

June 7, 2012

Paul Gaugin, a leading painter in the post-impressionist movement was born on this day in 1848.  His name is often coupled to a desire to buck convention, pull up stakes and run away to become a lotus eater.  He did all of these things, leaving a career as a stockbroker and a wife and five children behind.  His interest, although not his training, was in art.  He began painting while still living in Europe, but found little success.  He acted on his frustration by sailing to the tropics and forsaking European culture and civilization.  His paintings became increasingly primitive in character.  He did not enjoy success even in paradise and died at the age of 54.

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