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Brittany Landscape, c. 1888-1889

Émile Bernard

French, 1868-1941
Oil on canvas
28-7/8 x 39-1/2 in. (73.3 x 100.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Jennifer Jones Simon
M.2008.1.1.P
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

The son of a cloth merchant in Lille, a northern French city located near the Belgian border, Émile Bernard was painting and drawing in art school by age 12. His experiments with the decidedly untraditional color theories of the Impressionists and Pointillists resulted in the young Bernard’s expulsion from the studio, and it was in that same year, 1886, at age 18, that the precocious artist met Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. At that time, Bernard was also introduced to the works of Paul Cézanne, and all of these contacts would have a formidable effect on the young artist’s style. Brittany Landscape displays these influences, both in the exaggerated, often unnaturalistic color discovered in van Gogh and Gauguin, as well as in the primitive flatness he found in Cézanne.

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