Developments in the 19th Century


Art Styles in 19th century - Art Map





(Between Romanticism and Expressionism)


Emile Bernard

(1868 - 1941)



Emile Bernard


(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

French painter who is sometimes credited with founding Cloisonnism (see Pont-Aven school; Synthetism). He was noted for his friendships with such artists as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Odilon Redon, and Paul Cezanne.

In 1886 Bernard went to Pont-Aven, where he theorized a Cloisonnist style of painting bold forms separated by dark contours that somewhat influenced Gauguin. He also did sculpture and woodcuts and designed furniture and tapestries. As a poet and writer, he studied religious mysticism and philosophy. Part of the fame of Cézanne and Redon rests on Bernard's prophetic admiration of their early work. He toured Italy in 1894 and settled in Egypt for 10years. Returning to France in 1904, he founded and edited the review La Rénovation Esthétique and published his correspondence with van Gogh, Gauguin, Redon, and Cezanne—a major contribution to the understanding of modern art.



b Lille, 28 April 1868; d Paris, 15 April 1941.

French painter and writer. He was the son of a cloth merchant. Relations with his parents were never harmonious, and in 1884, against his father’s wishes, he enrolled as a student at the Atelier Cormon in Paris. There he became a close friend of Louis Anquetin and Toulouse-Lautrec. In suburban views of Asnières, where his parents lived, Bernard experimented with Impressionist and then Pointillist colour theory, in direct opposition to his master’s academic teaching; an argument with Fernand Cormon led to his expulsion from the studio in 1886. He made a walking tour of Normandy and Brittany that year, drawn to Gothic architecture and the simplicity of the carved Breton calvaries. In Concarneau he struck up a friendship with Claude-Emile Schuffenecker and met Gauguin briefly in Pont-Aven. During the winter Bernard met van Gogh and frequented the shop of the colour merchant Julien-François Tanguy, where he gained access to the little-known work of Cezanne.

Still Life with Flowers
Bernard’s Grandmother
Buckwheat Harvesters at Pont-Aven
Madeleine au Bois d'Amour
Musee d'Orsay at Paris
Breton Woman and Haystacks
Trois baigneuses
Buckwheat Harvesters
Breton Woman
Breton Women on a Wall
Spanish Musicians.

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