French painter and sculptor. Gaugin started out as a post-impressionist, after seeing an exhibition of Impressionist paintings and being deeply impressed by it. In 1888, during which he spent over two months with his friend van Gogh, Gauguin`s style evolved into what would become his trademark - the use of bold, nonrealistic colors, large flat areas and the use of mystic subjects. In 1891, he sailed to the tropics, where he spent most of the rest of life, leaving behind overly cultured Europe to return to a more primitive vitality. Immersing himself in the lifestyles of Tahiti and the Marquesas, he depicted the people and myths of their native cultures until his death.