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The Cover
July 13, 2005

Still Life With Profile of Laval

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(2):155. doi:10.1001/jama.294.2.155

The name of the Symbolist painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) usually conjures up the mysterious and the exotic: scenes of tropical landscapes, beautiful, haunting images of women, and enigmatic titles such as Be in Love and You Will Be Happy and Whence Came We? What Are We? Where Are We Going? But Gauguin began these paintings only in the 1890s after he had left France and settled in Tahiti. He was by then in his mid-40s. Behind him lay an entirely different Gauguin, Gauguin the Impressionist. Greatly influenced by Camille Pissarro, he had taken part in five of the eight Impressionist exhibits that were held in Paris between 1874 and 1886. In fact, of the some 30 years of his professional life, about half were devoted to Impressionism; it was only during the latter half of his career that he became known as a Symbolist.