Tag Archives: van Gogh

Émile Bernard – Making Ideas Art

France has been known as a global art capital for some time. In the years leading up to this international acknowledgment, artistic ideas seemed to be constantly percolating throughout the country. This was especially true for post-Impressionist painter Émile Bernard (1868-1941). Bernard’s ideas led him to express himself through several artistic styles, but he is best known for being on the front lines of art movements such as Cloisonnism and Synthetism.

Painting served as more than a form of expression for Bernard. The French artist believed that technique was less important than clear portrayal of the idea. When an idea was portrayed clearly, Bernard might have said, truth could be found. More so, he felt a simplified approach to art allowed him to visibly express the invisible. For instance, when painting natural landscapes, he put effort into conveying the sensations he experienced rather than creating an accurate depiction of the scenery.

“There I was expressing myself more, it was me that I was describing, although I was in front of the nature. There was an invisible meaning under the mute shape of exteriority.” – Émile Bernard

In his words, he sums up the styles he is best known for as a “[simplification of] 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. To see a style and not an item. To highlight the abstract sense and not the objective.” This, he believed, help to “appeal more to internal memory and conception.”

Émile Bernard was driven to protect the fragility of his ideas with simplified art styles. Agreeing with his philosophy was post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin. Bernard and Gauguin formed a close friendship and shared their art frequently. In addition, Bernard was known to converse with Vincent van Gogh often and, later in life, he got to know Paul Cézanne. However, long before notable friendships, philosophical ideals, and symbolic artwork, Émile Bernard realized his ideas could take flight when he expressed them through art.

Bernard was born in France in 1868. At a young age, his parents took him to stay with his grandmother. She was said to be an encourager of his art. In fact, one of his early paintings was a portrait of his grandmother; it was titled La Grandmère (1887).

The family moved to Paris in 1878 where Bernard attended school. While receiving formal education, he tried his hand at Impressionism and Pointillism. However, this experiment took place when he attended Atelier Common in Paris, where he enrolled in 1884. It was later rumored that he was expelled from the school for “showing expressive tendencies in his paintings.” With his traditional education cut short in 1886, he set out to travel through Brittany, a north-west region of France, on foot. The landscapes he experienced on these independent travels influenced his artwork and art philosophies.

In Brittany, at a commune called Pont-Aven, Bernard got to meet Paul Gauguin. The two hit it off quickly and would influence each other’s work for years to come.

The year 1887 was a turning point in Bernard’s career. His art began attracting attention of fellow artist van Gogh, as well as Louise Anquetin and Toulouse’ Lautrec (whom he first met in school). Together, the artists painted and hosted exhibits, creating an artist group known as school of Petit-Boulevard.

In 1888, Bernard had the opportunity to work with Gauguin and van Gogh, which allowed all three to participate in and greatly influence the history of modern art. Unfortunately, van Gogh died two years later and fame was cut short for Bernard, too. In 1891, Bernard felt snubbed when Gauguin was given credit for introducing Symbolism and Synthetism to the world. Bernard felt that the art critic Georges-Albert Aurier should have acknowledged him as the guide for these art movements.

Émile Bernard went onto befriend other artists and travel. He went to Italy in 1893 and then moved to Egypt, where he stayed until 1903. The following year he returned to Paris where he taught at École des Beaux-Arts. He stayed there until his death in 1941.

Throughout his life, Émile Bernard tried his hand at various art styles but goes down in history for his work in Cloisonnism and Synthetism. It is recorded that, towards the end of his life he returned to his Avant-guard roots, painting realistic portraits of females and nudes. Regardless of what style he used, he always presented his ideas with compelling and extraordinary composition.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Émile Bernard’s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=BER . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 31 digital Émile Bernard’s patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 31 Émile Bernard – Making Ideas Art . Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists: 

Alfred Stevens – A Life Immersed in Art

Benjamin West – The American Raphael

Jan Gossaert – A Great Flemish Painter of Antiquity

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Émile Bernard

Émile Bernard

Cloisonnism

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The Expressive Vincent van Gogh

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Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was a Dutch painter whose Post-Impressionist paintings laid the groundwork for Expressionism, influenced the Fauves and greatly affected 20th century art.
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He created more than 2,000 works, including 900 paintings, three of which make up the world’s ten most expensive pieces of art.

Van Gogh was born in 1853 in Groot-Zundert, a village in the southern Netherlands. His father was a minister and three of his uncles were art dealers, two vocations that were to pull Vincent in different directions at various times in his life.

In letters, Vincent has described his youth as “gloomy, cold and barren,” and he left school at 15. With the help of his uncle, he was offered a job with the art dealer Goupil & Cie, and in 1873 was sent to London and from there to Paris. After complaining repeatedly about the commoditisation of art, his job with the art dealership was terminated and Van Gogh returned to England to work as a teacher and minister’s assistant.

In 1879, after failing a course at a Protestant missionary school near Brussels, Van Gogh began a mission in the poor mining district of Borinage in Belgium. Choosing to live in the same poverty-stricken conditions as the local population, he was dismissed for “undermining the dignity of the priesthood” and returned home. His behaviour over the following months led his father to enquire about having Van Gogh committed to an asylum.
Aged 27, Van Gogh eventually took up the suggestion of his brother Theo, now a successful art dealer, to focus on painting. In 1880, he moved to Brussels and studied at the Royal Academy of Art.

Van Gogh’s first major work, The Potato Eaters, was painted in 1885 shortly after his father’s death. Like many of his early works, the painting used sombre colors, especially dark brown, a preference which would make his paintings difficult to sell; buyers’ tastes were now influenced by the bright tones used by the Impressionists.

His palette however, began to change after he moved to Antwerp in 1885. He studied color theory and began using carmine, cobalt and emerald green. But it was while living in Paris from 1886 to 1888, where he met Emile Bernard and Toulouse-Lautrec and came into close contact with Impressionist art, that Van Gogh’s art really began to develop.

He experimented with Pointillism and painted in the sunflower-rich region of Arles with the artist Gauguin. By late 1888 his behavior was becoming difficult however, and fearing that Gauguin was going to abandon him, he stalked the painter with a razor before cutting off his earlobe and giving it to a local prostitute, telling her to “keep this object carefully.” The following year, after suffering from hallucinations and believing that he was being poisoned, Van Gogh was placed in the mental hospital of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole near Arles.

By now, Van Gogh’s work was beginning to be recognized. The critic Albert Aurier called him a “genius,” and Monet declared that his work was the best in a major avant-garde Brussels art show.www.segmation.com

The beginnings of success did nothing to help Van Gogh’s depression though, nor did the intervention of the physician Dr. Paul Gachet. On July 27, 1890, he walked into a field, shot himself in the chest with a revolver and died two days later.

Although there has been much speculation about the nature of Van Gogh’s mental illness, he is now recognized as one of the world’s greatest artists and a bridge between 19th century Impressionism and 20th century art.

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London – A Town for Art Lovers

Each year visitors from all over the world travel to London to see Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Covent Garden, The London Eye, and Piccadilly Circus. But did you know that London is full of amazing artwork as well as landmarks? It’s true. In fact, art lovers are some of the main people who make their way to London each year. Here are just a few of the most famous pieces of art that are located in London:

Sunflowers, by Vincent Van Gogh

Located in the National Gallery, Sunflowers was painted in 1888. Sunflowers is a still life, oil on canvas painting that was created in Arles. Vincent Van Gogh reportedly painted Sunflowers with the intention of using it to decorate Gauguin’s rented home in the South of France. The National Gallery, Sunflowers’ home, also shelters other pieces of famous artwork from the 13th – 19th Century.  One of the best things about the National Gallery is that its artwork is free for viewing.

The Lady of Shalott, by John William Waterhouse

The Lady of Shalott was created by the masterful hands of John William Waterhouse in 1888. The painting is a depiction of Tennyson’s poem entitled The Lady of Shalott. The woman representing the Lady of Shalott in Waterhouse’s painting was, reportedly, his wife. This naturalistic painting is located at Tate Britain, which houses British art made in the past 500 years or so. Contemporary and international modern art can also be found at Tate Britain.

The Raphael Cartoons, by Raphael

Commissioned in 1515 by Pope Leo X, The Raphael Cartoons are said to be “among the greatest treasures of the High Renaissance.” Created by Raphael and his “assistants,” The Raphael Cartoons were used as tapestry designs for the Vatican. The paintings feature St. Paul and St. Peter. The Raphael Cartoons are currently housed at the Victoria and Albert museum, which is home to 4.5 million pieces of art, clothing, jewelry, ironwork, and much more.

English poet Samuel Johnson said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Indeed, one of the finest things that life affords is art, and that can be found in abundance in London.

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Google Art Project Makes Art More Accessible

La Primavera by Botticelli - one of 1000+ artworks you can view in fine detail at the Google Art Project

The new Google Art Project, unveiled in early February 2011, allows viewers to digitally check out hundreds of important artworks from the leading art museums around the globe. The project offers digital images of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and artifacts that are extremely high-resolution, which means you can easily zoom right in on a Van Gogh painting (for example) to see the richness of every brushstroke!

The key feature of the Google Art Project that separates it from other “online museums” lies in the sheer quality of the images. The ability to view fine details such as brushstrokes and the texture of the canvas creates a more tactile approach to viewing artwork remotely – a quality that is typically missing from most art that is posted online.

The Google Art Project is handy for artists, students, teachers and countless others who would like to study specific paintings or artists, but who do not have convenient access to a major art museum. The Google Art Project allows everyone to browse art museums for free from the comfort of home.

Participating museums hail from the US, Europe and Russia, including NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of art and MoMA, the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, the National Gallery in London, the Palace of Versailles in France, and the Uffizi in Italy.

While the experience of browsing art on the Google Art Project is not quite the same as standing in front of the artwork in person, it is a worthy experiment in bringing the arts closer to the general public.

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Take a Painting Holiday

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Lavender fields of Provence… Rolling hills in Tuscany… These are landscapes that have inspired artists throughout the centuries. If you’ve ever dreamed of standing in a wheat field with an easel and capturing the golden hues of a country sunset like van Gogh, or painting an explosion of red poppies spread across a peaceful pasture like Monet, then you can follow in the footsteps of your favorite artists by treating yourself to a painting holiday.

Painting holidays are growing in popularity amongst professional artists and Sunday painters alike. They offer the unique opportunity to travel, create art, and immerse yourself in a foreign culture. Painting holidays are the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life and rejuvenate your passion for making art, all under the professional supervision of an instructor.

A painting holiday not only provides you with the time and space for making art – it also provides countless other benefits as well: experiencing other cultures, socializing with other artists, and receiving teacher supervision and support. Your hosts will be knowledgeable about the area and usually take you on outings to the market and to cafe and restaurants, so that you can get a taste for local life.

Most people go on organized painting holidays so they can be part of a group and interact with others. More independently-minded artists and travelers can also choose to create their own painting holidays. Some art centers in France and Italy offer self-directed artist retreats, where for a fee you receive room and board as well as studio space.

Although the most popular painting holidays take place in the French or Italian countryside, you can find painting holidays in nearly every country in the world, from England to Kenya. If you get tired of painting alone in your studio, consider taking a painting holiday!