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Pissarro's Influence on Gauguin

Before he took up painting as a career, Gauguin was a successful stockbroker. Gauguin used the money he earned to collect the art of others. Among the artists whose art he purchased was Camille Pissarro. He began to pursue painting seriously in 1874 after seeing an Impressionist exhibit in Paris, including some works by Pissarro. Around a year later, Gauguin met Pissarro himself. Even though he had only just begun painting, Pissarro saw talent in the promising young Gauguin and encouraged him to continue painting. He told Gauguin to “look for the nature that suits your temperament.” He introduced Gauguin to other artists, including Paul Cézanne, and got him a spot in several Impressionist expositions from 1880-1882. When the French stock market crashed in 1882 and Gauguin lost his job as a stockbroker, he spent even more time traveling and painting with Pissarro. Then, sometime between 1884 and 1886, he moved to Pont-Aven, where he studied with other artists such as Van Gogh and Degas and ultimately developed his own personal style. From that point on, Gauguin had little to do with Pissarro. However, Gauguin would likely not have gotten his start without Pissarro’s influence. Even more impressive, Gauguin would always acknowledge the influence of Pissarro in his work, something his immense pride would rarely allow him to do with others.