You have all heard of Ecole de Pont Aven, in Southern Brittany, where Paul Gauguin reigned over a colony of foreign and French painters in the 1880’s and 90’s. The little city has renovated its museum two years ago and the private collection of Alexandre Mouradian is being shown this year. The paintings are excellent and the visit will take you around one of France’s most beautiful seaside landscapes.
It is modernity in Brittany that is exhibited here with Emile Bernard‘s “Lutteurs bretons” (fighters from Brittany) painted in 1889 or “Trois Bretonnes en coiffe de deuil, (Three women from Brittany in morning headdress) 1888, in an almost abstract style.
Paul Sérusier and Emile Jourdan are my favorites with their strong contrasting colors and lines. What characterizes all these artists, and there are many foreigners, are the simple scenes of Breton life. For the first time, daily customs like lighting a fire, keeping cows, fishing sardines, are being recorded by artists and transformed into paintings.
Eric Forbes Robertson‘s “Young Bretons from Pont Aven” in 1892 are so strong in their miserable clothes! Maurice Denis‘s Perros-Guirec 1917 mystical scene is also fascinating. Roderick O’Conor, and his red rocks, Jan Verkade and his hay stacks, Maxime Maufra and his Douarnenez foggy evenings are all terrific painters. This exhibition could be a good excuse to visit Pont Aven if you have not been already!
A catalog with texts by Adrien Goetz and Jean Marie Rouart is available for 28€. “Pont Aven School, the cradle of modernity”, until January 6, 2019, Musée de Pont Aven.
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