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(b Aix-en-Provence, 19 Jan. 1839; d Aix-en-Provence, 23 Oct. 1906). French painter, with Gauguin and van Gogh the greatest of the Post-Impressionists and a key influence on the development of 20th-century art. He was the son of a prosperous hat manufacturer who was also part-owner of a bank in Aix-en-Provence. In 1861 he abandoned the study of law, and his father reluctantly gave him permission (and a modest allowance) to train as an artist in Paris. He studied at the Académie Suisse, where he met Camille Pissarro, but after a few months he went back to Aix discouraged (he was a touchy character who hid his insecurities by posing as a provincial boor, once refusing to shake hands with the elegant Manet because he claimed he had not washed for days and did not wish to dirty the great man).

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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