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Still Life with Flowers, 1887

Émile Bernard

French, 1868-1941
Oil on canvas
19-3/4 x 24 in. (50.2 x 61.0 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Jennifer Jones Simon
© 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Not on view

A friend of Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, and Signac, Bernard was something of a prodigy. He painted this radical still life when he was just seventeen, fusing the bold, flat colors of the Japanese prints he collected with the clotted paint application he admired in Cézanne’s work. The result is slightly bewildering: emphatically material in its crusted surface, the picture is also strangely ethereal in its play of shadows and hovering forms. Bernard was a driving force behind the radical Cloisonnist and Synthetist movements of the late 1880s before he turned to Catholic mysticism and repudiated all his youthful experiments.

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