Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Emile Bernard


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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864–1901
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 540 × 445 mm
frame: 787 × 691 × 69 mm
Bequeathed by Arthur Jeffress 1961

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This is a portrait of the painter Emile Bernard. At the time it was done Bernard was still only a teenager, and was a student with Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh at the Atelier Cormon in Paris. Like Gauguin, another of his friends, Bernard went on to develop a radical style of painting in his Breton scenes, for which he is now best known. Bernard later recalled that it took Toulouse-Lautrec thirty-three sittings to complete this picture, ten of which were devoted to working on the background.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864-1901

T00465 Emile Bernard 1885

Not inscribed
Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 17 1/2 (54 x 44.5)
Bequeathed by Arthur Jeffress 1961
Prov: With Ambroise Vollard, Paris; Robert de Galéa, Paris; with Lefevre Gallery, London; Arthur Jeffress, London
Exh: H. de Toulouse-Lautrec, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, April-May 1931 (41), lent by Vollard; Géricault to Renoir, Lefevre Gallery, London, May 1951 (34, repr.); Toulouse-Lautrec 1864-1901, Tate Gallery, February-March 1961 (15); Centenaire de Toulouse-Lautrec, Palais de la Berbie, Albi, June-September 1964 (16, repr.); Petit Palais, Paris, October 1964-January 1965 (16, repr.); Toulouse-Lautrec, Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, November-December 1968 (58, repr.); National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, January-February 1969 (58, repr.); Ishikawa Prefecture Museum, Kamazawa, March 1969 (58, repr.); Bridgestone Museum, Fukuoka, April 1969 (58, repr.)
Lit: Douglas Lord (ed.), Vincent van Gogh: Letters to Emile Bernard (London 1938), p.12, repr. pl.2; Francis Jourdain and Jean Adhémar, Toulouse-Lautrec (Paris 1952), p.115, repr. pl.9 Douglas Cooper, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (London 1955), p.64, repr. p.65 in colour; John Rewald, Post-Impressionism from van Gogh to Gauguin (New York 1956), p.28, repr. p.30; M.G. Dortu, Toulouse-Lautrec et son Oeuvre (Paris 1971), Vol.2, P.258, p.112, repr. p.113; Denys Sutton and G.M. Sugana, The Complete Paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec (London 1973), No.180, p.98 repr.

The painter Emile Bernard (1868-1941) was a fellow-student of Lautrec's at the Atelier Cormon. He entered Cormon's studio in 1885 and this portrait was painted towards the end of the year, when Lautrec was already working on his own. Bernard told Douglas Cooper that the picture took thirty-three sittings to complete, ten of which were entirely devoted to working on the background.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.726-7, reproduced p.726

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