Cloisonnist, Synthetist, Symbolist
Painter of mythological compositions, religious
subjects, genre paintings, portraits, nudes, landscapes, urban
landscapes, still-life, painting with gouache, watercolorist,
painter of cartoons for tapestries, sculptor, engraver, illustrator.
Born in 1868, in Lille, Emile Bernard comes to
live in Paris with his family, in 1881.
His early passion for drawing is opposed by his
father but supported by his grandmother. Registered in the Studio
of Cormon, in 1885, he meets Anquetin and Toulouse-Lautrec with
whom he becomes friends.
Expelled for insubordination, he traverses on
foot Normandy and Brittany, in 1886. In Concarneau, he meets Schuffenecker
who sends him to Pont-Aven to meet Gauguin, whose greeting is
very reserved. In Asnières, he paints in company of Van
Gogh; Signac, who had noticed him, comes to visit him.
|La Ronde bretonne, 1888-1890
Oil on canvas
Musée des Beaux Arts de Quimper (France)
During the summer 1887, Bernard is in Saint-Briac,
in the pension of Mrs. Lemasson where he tries his first tests
of " cloisonnism". In August 1888, he is then twenty years old,
he is in Pont-Aven with his sister Madeleine; he become friends
with Gauguin, works with him and from their collaboration is born
esthetics specific to Pont-Aven.
He spends the summer 1889 in Brittany, after
having exposed at the Café Volpini, with the painters of
the Pont-Aven's group. In 1890, he tries to earn a living in Lille,
by drawing fabrics, but he gives up quickly. Bernard quarrels
with Gauguin in 1891 and exposes that same year at the "Indépendants"
and at Barc de Boutteville.
Oil on canvas
He stays in Pont-Aven in 1892 and takes part
in the "Salon de la Rose Croix, then, in 1893, thanks to the financial
assistance of the Count of Rochefoucauld, he leaves for Constantinople
and Egypt where he will live until 1904.
When returning to France, he visits Cézanne
and settles in Tonnerre. He achieves various trips to Italy, stays
in Pont-Aven between 1939 and 1940 and dies in Paris in 1941.
Creator of the "synthetic symbolism", inventor
of a new vision, Bernard evolved thereafter to a return to the
classic art, after having played an essential role of initiator
for Gauguin and all the group of Pont-Aven.
Extract from the book "Paul Gauguin et ses
amis de Pont-Aven" published by Ar-Men