Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (1848 -1903) was a leading French Post-Impressionist painter. During the late 1880s he traveled the South Seas in search of "primitive" art. He categorized the work he created "savage". Upon his return to Paris he become the new leader of the Parisian avant-garde. His bold experimentation with colour and expressive distorted forms freed the traditional mimetic representation and pioneered the Symbolist art movement setting the stage for Fauvism.