IF you want to learn something about Gauguin and his art before seeing the exhibit of his works at SAM this spring, this is a good place to start.
The documentary gives a basic outline of Gauguin's life and works. Some of his seminal works are reviewed (several of which are in the current SAM exhibit). Works of artists who may have influenced him are also shown, e.g. Pisarro, Cezanne, van Gogh. However, information and interpretation regarding the works that were discussed could have been better elaborated. The two art historians who gave commentaries were rather flat, not really adding much insight. The documentary essentially skipped over the influence of his early life in Peru (and thus Peruvian art), as well as his guardian - Gustave Arosa - a Spanish-born financier who relocated to Paris and became Gauguin's guardian in 1862 (when Gauguin was 13-14 y.o.). Arosa was an avid, adventurous art collector whose collection included many works by Delacroix, Courbet and Théodore Rouseau as well as aboriginal work such as pre-Columbian Peruvian pottery. Gauguin had unlimited access to these works. Both these experiences were probably significant factors in Gauguin's art and his interest in indigenous art. They should have been addressed.
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