August 6-September 26
Around the Northwest School
Émile Bernard was a French painter and writer known for contribution to the Cloisonnism movement. Characterized by rich colors bounded by dark outlines, his works gleaned inspiration from the formal and mystical attributes of medieval stained-glass windows, as seen in his painting Harvest by the Sea (1891). “The first means that I use is to simplify nature to an extreme point. I reduce the lines only to the main contrasts and I reduce the colors to the seven fundamental colors of the prism,” he stated. “To see a style and not an item. To highlight the abstract sense and not the objective.” Born on April 28, 1868 in Lille, France, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris before being suspended for not adhering to the academic style of the era. After leaving school, the artist travelled to Pont-Aven on the rugged Brittany coast of France, where he met and exchanged artistic theories with Paul Gauguin. Bernard would go on to have an impact on establishing the legacy of Paul Cézanne as well as the Symbolist movement. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.