Sunday, February 24, 2008

Émile Bernard

Émile Bernard (April 28, 1868 – April 16, 1941)
Virgin and Saints 1895.
Hand-colored lithograph. 615 x 410 mm

Émile Bernard (April 28, 1868 – April 16, 1941)
The Way of the Cross 1895.

Émile Bernard (April 28, 1868 – April 16, 1941)
The Passion: The Way of the Cross 1895

Émile Bernard (April 28, 1868 – April 16, 1941)
The Annunciation 1890
Oil on canvas
34.9 x 47 cm
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.

Émile Bernard (April 28, 1868 – April 16, 1941)
Crucifixion 1894.
353 x 150 mm.
Museum of Fine Art, San Francisco

Émile Bernard (April 28, 1868 – April 16, 1941) is best known as a Post-Impressionist painter who maintained close relations to Van Gogh and Gauguin, and, at a later time, to Cézanne.

Symbolism and religious motifs appear in both Bernard`s work.

During the summer of 1889, Bernard was alone in Le Pouldu and began to paint many religious canvasses. He was upset that he had to do commercial work at the same time that he wanted to create these pieces.

Bernard wrote about his relationship with this the style of symbolism in many letters, articles, and statements. He said that it was of a Christian essence, divine language. Bernard believed that it “It is the invisible expressed by the visible,” and those previous attempts of religious symbolism failed.

He met painters like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and van Gogh, made friends with Paul Gauguin and caused a stir among fellow painters with his pictures.

After his first pointillist experiments Emile Bernard developed his own new pictorial idiom, which was later called Cloisonnism. In contrast to the delimitation of the impressionists, Emile Bernard clearly framed his subjects and colours with dark contours.

This approach to pictures evoked interest from both van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, in 1888 and 1889 Emile Bernard and Gauguin worked closely together, though not without conflict.

After van Gogh's death and the public's focus on Paul Gauguin as the founder of Symbolism, a confrontation arose between the former friends.