Madeleine in the Bois dAmour by Emile Bernard

By: Debra N. Mancoff

Madeleine in the Bois d'Amour by Émile Bernard canvas (54-3/4 x 64-1/8 inches), d'Orsay, Paris. See more pictures of Impressionist paintings.

Émile Bernard was a post-Impressionist painter and a close friend of both Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh. He collaborated with both Gauguin and van Gogh, and he theorized a style known as cloisonnism.

Impressionism Image Gallery

His work Madeleine in the Bois d'Amour (1888) is set in the same wood as Paul Sérusier's The Talisman (1888).

Émile Bernard spent the summer in Pont Aven, Brittany, working with Gauguin. He painted his sister reclining on the ground near the bank of the Aven River. Her stiff posture and flattened form gives the work an iconic air, reinforced by the rigid arrangement of vertical trees and horizontal bands of land and water. Synthetism is the name Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin gave this distinctive blend of natural elements, decorative composition, and evocative imagery.


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Debra N. Mancoff is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American paintings. She is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.