July 3: Gauguin Leaves France

GauguinIt was on this day in 1895 that painter Paul Gauguin left his native France for good and set sail for Tahiti, where the native population and their arts would inspire some of his best work.

Gauguin is probably one of the most influential artists of the “modern” era (i. e. the 1860s to 1970s). His bright colorful style influenced the early 20th century Fauvist movement, and his pioneering role in the Primitivism movement would pave the way for the 20th century’s Cubist and Abstract artists, including Pablo Picasso.Unfortunately, it was around the time that he started painting full time that his marriage began to crumble. It would be fair to assume that the two events were related. During this rocky time, Gauguin made visits to Caribbean and South Pacific islands until he decided to leave his wife for the tropics. In Tahiti, Gauguin made beautiful paintings, sculptures and woodblock prints that depicted island life and drew inspiration from traditional Tahitian art. Gauguin spent the remaining eight years of his life traveling and painting around the islands of French Polynesia.

There is of course a cocktail called Gauguin, and unsurprisingly it’s a fun tropical number.


  • 2 ounces Light Rum
  • 1 tablespoon passion fruit syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients with 3 ounces of crushed ice in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour in to a tumbler and garish with a lime twist.

Tomorrow: We declare independence.


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