Famous Family History Paul Gauguin Children

About the family of famous author Paul Gauguin, history of his sons and daughters.

PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903), French painter

His Fruits: One recurrent theme in Gauguin's family history is the absence of a father. Flora Tristan's natural father had died in her infancy; Aline's father went to prison; Clovis Gauguin died before his son Paul was two years old; and Gauguin's own children rarely saw him.

What had begun as a conventional, middle-class marriage fell apart after 11 years, and Paul Gauguin's last physical contact with his family was in 1891. His Danish wife, Mette Sophie Gad (1850-1920), never understood his creative compulsion and was outraged when he renounced the values she thought they had shared. Bitter recriminations marked their separation; almost the entire burden of raising their five children-in Denmark-fell upon her. So strong was her antipathy that she subtly discriminated against the two who were their father's favorites; interestingly, both died in their early maturity-Aline (1877-1897) of pneumonia and Clovis (1879-1900) of blood poisoning following a hip operation.

Emile Gauguin (1874-1955), the eldest child, worked as a construction engineer in the U.S. He possessed only one of his father's works, a small pencil sketch of his mother.

Jean Rene Gauguin (1881-1961) was a Danish sculptor and a staunch Socialist. A spectacular china fountain that he created stands in the Tuileries in Paris.

Paul Rollon "Pola" Gauguin (1883-1961), also an artist and art critic. wrote a memoir, My Father, Paul Gauguin (1937). His son Paul Rene Gauguin (1911- ) is a well-known graphic artist, stage designer, and translator who lives in Copenhagen.

Gauguin also had children by two of his mistresses. Juliette Huet (1866-1955), a young Parisian seamstress whom Gauguin painted, was the mother of Germaine Huet (1891-?), who painted under the name Germaine Chardon. Tehura, a Tahitian woman, bore Emile Marae a Tai (1899-?), one of the most intriguing members of an extraordinary family. Emile, raised as a native islander, became a familiar tourist attraction as he strolled the beaches in his Hawaiian shirts and posed for cameras ("Me son of Gauguin). An obese, semiliterate derelict noted for his drunken brawls (he once tipped over a truck), he was dried out and brought to Chicago by French journalist Josette Giraud in 1963. There he painted with an innate artistic gusto. His deft canvases won him praise as a "powerful painter in his own right," and most critics could agree with his own happy belief that "My father be proud of me."

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