Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (1848 -1903) was a leading French Post-Impressionist painter. During the late 1880s, he traveled the South Seas in search of "primitive" art. He categorized his work as "savage."
Upon his return to Paris, he becomes the new leader of the Parisian avant-garde. His bold experimentation with color and expressive distorted forms freed the traditional mimetic representation and pioneered the Symbolist art movement, setting the stage for Fauvism.