Gauguin submits 12 works to the Seventh Impressionist exhibition, many completed during the previous summer at Pontoise.
In January of this year, the French stock market crashes. Not only does this jeopardize Gauguin's day job, it also curtails his extra income from speculating. He now must consider earning a living as a full-time artist in a flat market--not from the position of strength he had previously imagined.
By autumn, Gauguin either leaves or has been terminated from his job. He begins to paint full-time, and serves as an art broker on the side. He also sells life insurance and is an agent for a sail-cloth company--anything to make ends meet.
The family moves to Rouen, where Gauguin has calculated that they can live as economically as the Pissarros have. There is also a large Scandinavian community in Rouen into which the Gauguins (especially the Danish Mette) are welcomed. The artist senses potential buyers.
Paul and Mette's fifth and last child, Paul-Rollon ("Pola"), is born on December 6. Gauguin suffers the loss of two father figures in the spring of this year: his old friend, Gustave Arosa, and Édouard Manet, one of the few artists Gauguin idolized.
Though life is cheaper in Rouen, dire financial straits (and slow painting sales) see Gauguin selling off parts of his art collection and his life insurance policy. Stress is taking its toll on the Gauguin marriage; Paul is verbally abusive to Mette, who sails to Copenhagen in July to investigate job opportunities for both of them there.
Mette returns with the news that she can earn money teaching French to Danish clients, and that Denmark shows great interest in collecting Impressionist works. Paul secures a position in advance as a sales representative. Mette and the children move to Copenhagen in early November, and Paul joins them several weeks later.
Mette thrives in her native Copenhagen, while Gauguin, who does not speak Danish, miserably criticizes every aspect of their new home. He finds being a sales representative demeaning, and makes only a pittance at his job. He spends his off hours either painting or writing plaintive letters to his friends in France.
His one potential shining moment, a solo show at Academy of Art in Copenhagen, is closed down after only five days.
Gauguin has, after six months in Denmark, convinced himself that family life is holding him back and Mette can fend for herself. He returns to Paris in June with son Clovis, now 6 years old, and leaves Mette with the other four children in Copenhagen.
Gauguin has gravely underestimated his welcome back to Paris. The art world is more competitive, now that he is not also a collector, and he is a pariah in respectable social circles due to abandoning his wife. Ever defiant, Gauguin responds with more public outbursts and erratic behavior.
He supports himself and his ailing son Clovis as a "billsticker" (he pasted advertisements on walls), but the two are living in poverty and Paul lacks the funds to send Clovis to a boarding school as was promised to Mette. Paul's sister Marie, who has been hit hard by the stock market crash, is sufficiently disgusted with her brother to step in and find the funds to pay for her nephew's tuition.
He submits 19 canvases to the Eighth (and final) Impressionist exhibition held in May and June, and in which he has invited his friends, artists Émile Schuffenecker and Odilon Redon, to exhibit.
He meets the ceramicist Ernest Chaplet and studies with him. Gauguin goes to Brittany in the summer and lives for five months in the Pont-Aven boarding house run by Marie-Jeanne Gloanec. Here he meets other artists including Charles Laval and Émile Bernard.
Back in Paris late in the year, Gauguin quarrels with Seurat, Signac and even his staunch ally Pissarro over Impressionism v. Neo-Impressionism.
Gauguin studies ceramics, teaches at the Académie Vitti in Paris and visits his wife in Copenhagan. On April 10 he leaves for Panama with Charles Laval. They visit Martinique and both fall ill with dysentary and malaria, Laval so gravely that he attempts suicide.
In November, Gauguin returns to Paris and moves in with Émile Schuffenecker. Gauguin becomes friendly with Vincent and Theo van Gogh. Theo exhibits Gauguin's work at Boussod and Valadon, and also buys some of his pieces.
Gauguin begins the year in Brittany, working with Émile Bernard, Jacob Meyer (Meijer) de Haan, and Charles Laval. (Laval has sufficiently recovered from their ocean voyage enough to become engaged to Bernard's sister, Madeleine.)
In October Gauguin moves to Arles where Vincent van Gogh hopes to start the Studio of the South - as opposed to the Pont-Aven School up north. Theo van Gogh foots the bill for the "Yellow House" rental, while Vincent diligently sets up studio space for two. In November Theo sells a number of works for Gauguin at his solo show in Paris.
On December 23, Gauguin quickly leaves Arles after Vincent cuts off a portion of his own ear. Back in Paris, Gauguin moves in with Schuffenecker.
Gauguin spends January through March in Paris and exhibits at the Café Volpini. He then leaves for Le Pouldu in Brittany where he works with the Dutch artist Jacob Meyer de Haan, who pays their rent and buys food for two. He continues to sell through Theo van Gogh, but his sales decline.
Gauguin continues working with Meyer de Haan in Le Pouldu through June, when the Dutch artist's family cuts off his (and, most importantly to them, Gauguin's) stipend. Gauguin returns to Paris, where he stays with Émile Schuffenecker and becomes the chief of the Symbolists at the Café Voltaire.
Vincent van Gogh dies in July.
Gauguin's dealer Theo van Gogh dies in January, terminating a small but crucial source of revenue. Then he argues with Schuffenecker in February.
In March he visits with his family in Copenhagen briefly. On March 23, he attends the banquet for the French Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé.
During the spring he organizes a public sale of his work at the Hôtel Drouet. The revenue from 30 paintings' sales is enough to put toward his trip to Tahiti. He leaves Paris on April 4 and arrives in Papeete, Tahiti on June 8, ill with bronchitis.
On August 13, Gauguin's ex-model/mistress, Juliette Huais, gives birth to a daughter whom she names Germaine.