Nature Morte a la Cafetiere et au Bouquet, 1910

by Emile Bernard

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DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 31.0 x 26.0 in./78.7 x 66.0cm
SIGNATURE: Signed upper right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 5431 Categories: ,

Émile Henri Bernard was one of the most influential of the Post-Impressionists. Known not just for his artistic output but also for his art-historical commentary, providing a very succinct and intelligent account of the artistic innovations that took place in France at the turn of the century

Provenance

Collection of Clement Altarriba;
Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Biography

Born in Lille, France in 1868, Bernard began his studies at the École des Arts Décoratifs. In 1884, he joined the Atelier Cormon where he experimented with impressionism and pointillism and befriended fellow artists Louis Anquetin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. After being suspended from the École des Beaux-Arts for “showing expressive tendencies in his paintings”, he toured Brittany on foot, where he was enamoured by the tradition and landscape.

In August 1886, Bernard met Gauguin in Pont-Aven. In this brief meeting, they exchanged little about art, but looked forward to meeting again. Bernard said, looking back on that time, that “my own talent was already fully developed.” He believed that his style did play a considerable part in the development of Gauguin’s mature style.
Bernard spent September 1887 at the coast, where he painted La Grandmère, a portrait of his grandmother. He continued talking with other painters and started saying good things about Gauguin. Bernard went back to Paris, attended Académie Julian and met with van Gogh, who was impressed by his work. Following from this Benard found a restaurant to show his paintings alongside van Gogh, Anquetin, and Toulouse-Lautrec’s work at the Avenue Clichy. Van Gogh called the group the School of Petit-Boulevard.

One year later, Bernard set out for Pont-Aven by foot and saw Gauguin. Their friendship and artistic relationship grew strong quickly. By this time Bernard had developed many theories about his artwork and what he wanted it to be. He stated that he had “a desire to [find] an art that would be of the most extreme simplicity and that would be accessible to all, so as not to practice its individuality, but collectively…” Gauguin was impressed by Bernard’s ability to verbalize his ideas.

1888 was a seminal year in the history of Modern art. From 23 October until 23 December Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh worked together in Arles. Gauguin had brought his new style from Pont-Aven exemplified in Vision after the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, a powerful work of visual symbolism of which he had already sent a sketch to van Gogh in September.