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Многочисленные рисунки, эстампы, литографии свидетельствуют о Тулуз-Лотреке как о выдающемся рисовальщике XIX века.

V. Summarize the text.

VI. Topics for discussion.

1. Toulouse-Lautrec's style and characters.

2. Toulouse-Lautrec as a great draughtsman.

Unit XV Gauguin (1848-1903)

Paul Gauguin, a French painter, sculptor and printmaker, was a founder of modern art. A successful businessman without any artistic training Gauguin began painting as an amateur while working as a stockbroker. He soon met Pissarro and Cezanne, as well as the Impressionists. Gauguin absorbed their ideas and techniques and from 1879 to the last Impressionist exhibition in 1886 showed regularly with this group.

Paul Gauguin lived a life that reads like a classic tale of the misunderstood, and uncompromising artist, searching for verities against all odds. He was born in Paris and four years of his childhood lived in Peru (he was partly of Indian origin); six years of his youth he spent as a sailor and was incurably drawn to the exotic and the faraway.

For Gauguin painting itself became identified with his wanderlust and drew him away from all his daily associations. In 1883 he gave up his business career and his bourgeois existence to devote his life to art. Gauguin was convinced that European urban civilisation was incurably ill. His life was nomadic; he moved back and fourth between villages in Brittany and the island of Martinique. Impoverished, deadly ill, and in trouble with the law, Gauguin died on the Marquesas Islands.

Gauguin's departure from Western artistic tradition was prompted by the rebellious attitude that impelled his break from middle-class life. But Gauguin, too, was not an Impressionist at heart. He sought art using ideas rather than the tangible world as a starting point. In this he was influenced by the artist Emil Bernard and by the Symbolist poets Rimbault and Baudelaire. Joining him in renouncing naturalism were the Symbolists, and van Gogh.

Gauguin renounced the formlessness of Impressionist vision and recommended a return to the «primitive» styles as the only refuge for art. What he sought was immediacy of experience. Gauguin did this in his brilliant Vision After the Sermon or, alternatively, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, painted in 1888, during his second stay in Brittany. This painting marked Gauguin break with Impressionism to follow his own style. He rejected realism in favour of the imagination, and through his expressionist means he made one of the most influential impacts on Western art. In the background Jacob is depicted wrestling with the angel. This event forms the lesson in the Breton rite for the eighth Sunday aflei Trinity. On the preceding day the blessing of horned beasts took place, followed by wrestling contests and a procession with red banners, and at night fireworks, a bonfire that turned the fields red with its glow, and an angel descending from the church tower. In the foreground Gauguin has shown at the right the head of a priest and next to it praying women in Breton costumes. Although the figures are outlined with the clarity that Gauguin derived from his study of Oriental, medieval, and primitive arts, the contrast between the large foreground heads and the smaller groups in the distance still presupposes Western perspective, and is drawn from theatre subjects developed by Duamier, Degas, and Renoir.

In Oceania Gauguin was influenced only to a limited degree by the art of the natives with whom he lived. He took his flattened style with its emphasis on brilliant colour to the South Seas with him, and fitted into it the people whose folkways and personalities attracted him. The attitudes in which he drew and painted them still derive from Impressionist vision. In The Day of the God, of 1894, a happy nude woman and her two children rest at the water's edge below the towering image of the god in the background. But while the poses are free in the Western tradition, the contours have been restored, as continuous and unbroken as in Egyptian or Archaic Greek Art.

Before his death Gauguin said, «I wanted to establish the right to dare everything… The public owes me nothing, since my pictorial oeuvre is but relatively good; but the painters who today profit from this liberty owe me something.» So indeed they did, especially Matisse, but no more than Cubism and abstract movements owe to the pioneer researches of Cezanne.

Make sure you know how to pronounce thefollowing words:

Paul Gauguin; Duamier; Degas; Breton; Brittany; Oceania; van Gogh; Egypt; Archaic; Marquesas; Tahiti; Peru; Jacob; Martinique; bourgeois; Rimbault.


Vision After the Sermon – «Видение после проповеди»

The Day of the God – «День Бога»


I. Read the text. Make sure you understand it. Mark the following statements true or false.

1. Paul Gauguin began painting as a professional.

2. In 1880 Gauguin devoted his life to business career.

3. Gauguin was convinced that European urban civilisation was incurably ill.

4. Gauguin painted the Vision After the Sermon in 1879.

5. The poses in Gauguin's paintings are as continuous and unbroken as in Egyptian or Archaic Greek Art.

6. Gauguin recommended a return to the Old Masters.

II. How well have you read? Can you answer the following questions?

1. What did Paul Gauguin do early in life? How old was Gauguin when he began painting? What style did Gauguin absorb? Where did he exhibit his works from 1879 to 1886?

2. Why was Gauguin's life nomadic?

3. What did Gauguin renounce and what did he recommend? What did Gauguin seek? What is depicted in the Vision After the Sermon? How did Gauguin outline the figures? What is the subject of this painting? What did Gauguin depict in the background? What did Gauguin show in the foreground at the right? What did it presuppose?

4. What did Gauguin take to the South Seas with him?

5. What is represented in The Day of the God?

6. What did Gauguin say before his death?

III. i. Give Russian equivalents of the following phrases:

to begin painting as a amateur; to identify painting with; bourgeois existence; European urban civilisation; nomadic life; the departure from Western artistic tradition; the rebellious attitude to; to break from middle-class life; to renounce the formlessness of Impressionist vision; to presuppose Western perspective; the art of the natives; flattened style; to outline figures with clarity; to restore the contours.

ii. Give English equivalents of the following phrases:

ассоциировать живопись с; бегство от европейской городской цивилизации; бунтарское отношение к; воссоздать контуры; четко обозначить фигуры; искусство туземцев; разрыв со средним классом; критиковать отсутствие формы в картинах импрессионистов; буржуазный образ жизни; кочевая жизнь; плоскостной стиль.

iii. Make up sentences of your own with the given phrases.

iv. Arrange the following in the pairs of synonyms:

a) civilisation; amateur; existence; rebellious; emphasis;

b) defiant; accent; non-professional; being; culture.