The Nymphs (Les Nymphes)

The Nymphs (Les Nymphes)

1890

Émile Bernard

(French, 1868-1941)

Woodcut, hand-colored with watercolor

Sheet: 59.1 x 47.8 cm (23 1/4 x 18 13/16 in.); Image: 47.5 x 35 cm (18 11/16 x 13 3/4 in.)

Gift of the Print Club of Cleveland in honor of the museum's one-hundredth anniversary 2015.152

Description

Before he had reached age 20, the precocious Bernard worked alongside Paul Gauguin and engaged in a lively correspondence with Vincent van Gogh. Toward the end of 1889, Van Gogh observed a shift in the young artist’s work and noted in a letter to his sister, “Bernard is trying to do elegant, modern figures in the manner of ancient Greek and Egyptian art.” The elongated, seemingly weightless forms in The Nymphs reflect Bernard’s stylistic evolution. This vividly hand-colored woodcut is one of only three known impressions of this print.

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