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Painter, engraver, but also an art critic, writer and poet, Emile Bernard was a major figure in the development of modern art. In the late 1880s, he inaugurated the cloisonniste style known to endorse the importance of Gauguin and Van Gogh, of whom Bernard was close, but also among the Nabis.
After the controversy over the invention of painting symbolism, which violently opposes Gauguin , Bernard moved to Cairo where he reconsiders the schematic stylisation and symbolist search primitivism. The discovery of the old masters, however, the incentive to revive the tradition.
Back in France, he published fundamental testimony about Cézanne and aesthetic writings questioning the vanguards in the name of the pictorial tradition. But, far from being defined by an outdated traditionalism, his art still bears the mark of a curious and tormented personality in search of artistic absolute.
This exhibition is the first to present the long career of this multifaceted artist whose successive mutations involved whenever a redefinition of the personality and question the notion of style.