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ABSTRACT. The case of Paul Gauguin, which will be dealt with in terms of artistic anthropology, is one of the most significant for the development of 20th century art. His artistic legacy was a fusion of reality and imagination, to the point of reaching the deep symbolic realms of the psyche. That he was a nonconformist is well known, that he abandoned his life as a civilized man leaving all luxury in order to embrace solitude and poverty is notorious, yet what is less explored is the profound paradox lying at the root of his attitude: Gauguin was an individualist through and through, and yet he adopted the most collective of possible artistic forms to draw inspiration from – primitive tribal art. We would not be far off to state that in Gauguin we find a Narcissus of sorts, partly in love with his own inner world of self-taught and self-generated imagination, and partly in love with the mysterious man and woman of the beginning, whom he searched in his art, and whose last unadulterated offspring he could find in the primitive peoples of the South Seas. pp. 9–15

Keywords: artistic anthropology, multicultural coalescence, nonconformist art, psychopathic disorder, primitive man/artist, noble savage, escaping civilization

Doina Cosman
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Iuliu Hatieganu University, Romania

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