Vincent Van Gogh & Paul Gauguin Painters’ Similarities

Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gaugin were painters who went against the norm of western art. Paul Gaugin was an experimenter who even traveled to Tahiti to have a new perspective and try new art styles (Artble, 2017). However, Van Gogh worked with a sense of urgency which caused him a significant amount of turmoil. This is illustrated by his paintings where he used deep strokes of paint and painted straight from the tube (impasto), depicting his emotions and turmoil while painting. The life of Van Gogh is similar to that of Paul Gaugin as depicted in their different works.

Van Gogh’s most famous painting, The Starry Night, totally depicts his life; he was an emotional person suffering at most times from depression. At times he was so lost in his feelings that he cut off a chunk of his ear and presented it to a brothel (Rutherford, 2019). After this incident, he had to go to a mental hospital where he painted the starry night. From his window, at the asylum at Saint-Remy, he envisioned the nightly view in a painting. The swirl and spiral patterns of light colors depict hope in the night view, which is usually dark. In this painting, Van Gogh experimented a lot by doing a landscape painting contrary to his typical style and, from memory, a practice he copied from his friend Gaugin (Chernick, 2018). From his pattern, one can notice how conflicted he was on the inside.

Gaugin’s most famous painting is the Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?. This painting was created when he was in his Tahiti stay, and he depicted the Maori Mythology of birth, life, and eventual death with a spin that Adam and Eve are present. He traveled to Tahiti to experience solitude and silence, while there he did some painting and this notion he shared with Van Gogh, who then moved from Paris to Arles (Chernick, 2018). In a little 63-day stint, the two artists shared living quarters where they exchanged art styles and experimented with each other’s techniques, and from this, Gaugin created 21 canvases. Van Gogh had 36, but this short-lived made Gaugin leave after Van Gogh’s emotions caught up, and he journeyed back to Tahiti. One was an emotional contemporary color artist, while the other was a symbolic landscape painter.


Artble. (2017). Starry night. Web.

Chernick, K. (2018). How Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin inspired and infuriated each other. Artsy. Web.

Rutherford, T. (2019). Escape to the southern seas. C&N. Web.

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