Les lettres d'un artiste (1884-1941)

Comprising some 430 letters, this selection of correspondence by the French painter
Emile Bernard (1868-1941) highlights one of the most complex and little known artists of
the modern period. As a young member of the Parisian avant-garde during the 1880s,
Bernard frequented Gauguin, Van Gogh, Anquetin and Redon before abandoning France
for the Middle East in 1893. While there, he rejected modern art and became an
outspoken champion of traditional values, for which he continued to fight after returning
to Europe in 1904. Lively and intelligent, Bernard’s letters are rich in observations on his
own art and the ideas that inspired it, as well as in critical assessments of his
contemporaries. Bernard’s correspondence offers remarkable insights into the artist’s life
and into the period during which he worked. It is destined to become an essential source
for understanding modernist and anti-modernist currents during a period crucial to the
history of French art.
Edited by Neil F. McWilliam, Émile Bernard
Les Presses du réel 2012