Emile Bernard

(1868-1941)

Biography

Emile Bernard was born on April 28, 1868 in Lille, France.  He is known for his friendships with several important artists including  Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Eugene Boch, and Paul Cezanne.  He is also known for contributions to Cloisonnism and Synthetism both of which are similar to Post-Impressionism.  

In his youth in Lille, he lived primarily with his grandmother who ran a laundry, and who supported his artistic endeavors.  When he was 12 years old his family moved to Paris, where he attended the College Sainte-Barbe.  He then attended school at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs where he was later suspended for “showing expressive tendencies in his paintings”.  Afterwards he travelled through Brittany where he fell in love with its landscape and its traditions  

Bernard was very creative early on in his career.  He influenced other artists with his mature work.  In particular Gauguin’s style was heavily influenced by Emile.  In 1888 they both worked on  self-portraits of themselves in a style which was similar.  

Bernard also created a piece called Breton Women in a Green Pasture which was then copied by van Gogh and Gauguin, and his works were clearly impactful on the works in particular of van Gogh and Gauguin. Most of his important works were completed between 1886 and 1897.  

Bernard is also known for doing sculptures and woodcuttings.  In addition he was a poet and a writer.  

Emile Bernard died on April 16, 1941 in Paris, France.