HE romanticised himself as “a savage”, explaining and excusing his own nature. He deserted a wife, children and material security because of the conviction, shared by few, that inside him there existed a great painter. He was abusive, debauched, arrogant, derisive, intolerant, and possibly the loneliest man who ever lived. He also made most of the art of the 20th century possible....
The paintings from the South Seas look idyllic still, but in his dealings with some very young local girls Gauguin could easily be depicted as a sex tourist. He idealised nature and the “primitive” life as the only road to liberation, but even when he stood up for native rights he was as much of a colonist as any.
June 20, 2005
That's the unromantic way to look at it:
Posted by Ann Althouse at 6:13 AM