Plínio Palhano

Flora Tristán (1803-1844), revolutionary, socialist, forerunner of the French feminism, very sensible to the social problems which concerned her straightly, self-taught, gathers experience and culture, as well as becomes a writer to tell the world the truths that haunted her soul, making her travel across Europe to give speeches to class associations. Her grandson, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), was a seminal artist who changed the plastic vision of his time, thus giving his contribution to the Modern art in the XX century. These parallel lives met in their ideals the supreme reason for living, so much so that they have inspired the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa to write "O Paraíso na Outra Esquina (The Paradise on the Other Corner), published in March 2003 on commemoration of the centennial anniversary of death of the painter.

They were descended from the Borgia of Aragon, who bequeathed the popes Calixtus III and Alexander VI to the Church, the latter one of the greatest tyrants of the Renaissance, who kicked off a span of treachery and depravity, as well as from Caesar Borgia, to whom Machiavel dedicated "The Prince", and his sister Lucrezia, high-placed courtesan and poisoner. This ancestry, in the XIX century, in Peru, in the city of Arequipa, formed the Tristán and Moscoso family that gave birth to Pio Tristán Y Moscoso, governor of Arequipa (1814-1817) and last viceroy of Peru, proclaimed in Cuzco (1824), and brother of Dom Mariano, nobleman who lived in France and afterwards was sent away in exile to Spain, where he married Anne-Pierre Térèse Laishay in 1802. On their return to Paris, one year later, Térèse gave birth to a girl, Flora.

Flora Tristán and her grandson, Gauguin, spent their lives in search of a paradise composed of liberty and social justice. She dreamt of a socialist world where the human rights (the right to education, health, work, etc.) were feasible.

Paul Gauguin wished a new generation of artists who met the primitive, an Eden filled with a new life and a new aesthetics, out of the Western standards contaminated by prejudice, hence his endless trips in pursuit of cultures regarded as exotic, non-European, impregnated with the paradisiacal remembrances of his childhood, when he spent six years in Peru together with his mother and sister. His father, Clovis Gauguin, journalist, editor at Le National newspaper dies of a sudden heart attack before reaching his destination.

In adolescence, Gauguin joins the merchant marine seeking adventure, calling at Rio de Janeiro as Édouard Manet did afterwards. He, with his paintings in progress, takes trips to different countries and places like Panama, Martinica, New Zealand, ending his life and work in Tahiti and Marquesas Islands. Before, in order to steep his plastic theories, he found in France itself the religious innocence of the Breton people in Port-Aven and Le Pouldu by performing decisive paintings like Vision after the Sermon (1888) and The Yellow Christ (1889), leaving his daughter Aline in a boarding school, in order to personally address with Pio Tristán her right to the patrimony due to her on the part of her father, Mariano Tristán y Moscoso. Her presence in Peru, as to her claims, proved to be a failure, but it served her to restore bonds with her family in Latin America, as well as to gather experience and form a basis for a political initiation: it was there that she had acquired the radical ideas which modified her way of seeing the world. It also contributed to Gauguin´s powerful imagination deeply steeped in the memories of a time when he lived with his mother, sister and granduncle - the man who ruled his infancy -, making him pursue an unreachable paradise as a painter.

The book published by Flora Tristán two years after her return to Paris (1836), "Pilgrimage of a Pariah", dedicated to the Peruvian people, reports the events of her trip to Arequipa and Lima and depicts her uncle as an ambitious miser, which made Dom Pio Tristán e Moscoso burn the book on the public square and, as she expected, quit sending her pension. Yet, the book disclosed her to the political and intellectual coteries as an outstanding socialist thinker.

Henceforth, Flora becomes more interested in both political and economic studies, as well as in the struggles for social justice. In 1843 she publishes "Union of Workers", a manifest summoning the oppressed ones to take the initiative in gathering in unions to consolidate the working class at the Working Union, to which contributions would be collected to create schools, clinics, etc., thus improving the work conditions. She roams about France, the industrialized cities, and delivers her pacifistic preaching, because, in her utopia, oppressors and oppressed would end in harmony. She struggled for the women´s rights as divorce, voting, etc., becoming one of the forerunners of the French feminism. One year after her death in November 14, 1844, at Bordeux, her last book was released - "The Emancipation of Woman."

Gauguin appreciated the Moscoso and Borgia of Aragon´s forefathers, as well as the supposed Incan blood he said he had, for it was a motto for his imagination - "I´m a savage of Peru", he used to put. He inherited the revolutionary side of his grandfather, whose fights he was proud of, being himself a compulsive revolutionary who did not make do with his aesthetic conquest, always moving towards his goal, bequeathing to mankind the work which influenced a whole generation in the early XX century: ephemeral Impressionist, creator of Synthetism together with Émile Bernard, elected the greatest Symbolist painter by Stéphane Mallarmé and his followers, recreator of the Maori mythology and liberator of the colors and shapes the tropical world revealed to his eyes and brain.

When the syphilis was annihilating all his debilitated body, addicted to morphine and alcohol to endure the pain in his leg caused by an eczema and hounded by the implacable Bishop Martim, he resisted courageously and regarded himself as a misunderstood genius. All of this after accomplishing his last masterpieces with native subject-matters and loving his "girls fiancées" who were inspiring models he used for portraying that exotic culture. With the same spell for this far-off universe, he also spawned a legacy with his writings published in Noa Noa: aesthetic testimony and reports on his Tahitian experiences. Finally, having Vaeho as his last mistress, at Atuona, a village on Hiva Oa, an island of the Marquesas Islands, he dies in the House of Pleasure - as he called his studio and home - his beautiful and unhappy hiding place situated in the South Pacific.