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Émile Bernard (1868-1941)
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Émile Bernard (1868-1941)

Nature morte aux carafe, verres, fruits, pot d'etain sur une nappe

Émile Bernard (1868-1941)
Nature morte aux carafe, verres, fruits, pot d'etain sur une nappe
signed and dated 'Emile Bernard 1888' (lower left)
oil on canvas
28 3/4 x 35 in. (73 x 88.9 cm.)
Painted in 1888
M.-A. Bernard-Fort, Paris.
Maurcie Sauvant, Paris.
E.J. van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam.
John & Frances. L. Loeb, New York, by whom acquired from the above, circa 1965, and thence by descent; their sale, 12 May 1997, lot 120.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
J.-J. Luthi, Émile Bernard, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 1982, no. 153, p. 30 (illustrated p. 31).
J.-J. Luthi & A. Israël, Émile Bernard, instigateur de l'école de Pont-Aven, précurseur de l'art moderne, sa vie, son oeuvre, catalogue raisonné, Paris, 2014, no. 165, p. 166 (illustrated).
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Émile Bernard, époque de Pont-Aven, 1883-1893, April - May, 1959, no. 16
Toronto, E.J. van Wisselingh & Co., French Paintings of the XIXth and XXth Century, 1963, no. 1.
Amsterdam, E.J. van Wisselingh & Co., Maîtres français du XIXe et XXe siècle, November - December 1963, no. 3 (illustrated).
Winnepeg, E.J. van Wisselingh & Co., Selected French Paintings of the XIXth and XXth Century, 1964; this exhibition later travelled to Montreal, E.J. van Wisselingh & Co.
Paris, Malingue S.A., Émile Bernard, époque de Pont-Aven, May - July 2010, pp. 18-19 (illustrated).
Copenhagen, Ordrupgaard Museum of Art, February - June 2014.
Goteborg, Museum of Art, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Bernard, Friction of Ideas, July - October 2014, no. 36, pp. 55 & 197 (illustrated).
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Michelle McMullan
Michelle McMullan

Lot Essay

Béatrice Recchi-Altarriba has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Between 1886 and 1893, Bernard executed three different types of still-life compositions: "...synthetic exercises used to test the degree to which one of the most quintessentially naturalistic of subjects could be distorted to create a non-naturalist composition; fully worked-through compositions which built upon his appreciation for and understanding of the still lifes of Paul Cézanne, and strictly decorative accumulations of objects in which line and pattern of colour predominate." (exh. cat., Emile Bernard 1868-1941, A Pioneer of Modern Art, Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim, 1990, p. 176).

The present painting is a fine example of the second category: it clearly indicates Bernard's interest in the still-lifes of Cézanne, of whom he declared: "Everyone surely recognizes a master and tries to adapt himself as much as possible – for me, that is Cézanne." Bernard initially discovered Cézanne's work in 1886 in Père Tanguy's shop in the rue Clauzel, Paris. At exhibitions held by Tanguy and by Emile Schufenecker, Bernard saw many of Cézanne's works soon after they were completed. He was particularly taken by Cézanne's still-lifes, which he recalled in an article about Cézanne written for Vanier's Les Hommes d'Aujourd'hui in 1890, two years after the present work was painted: "At Tanguy's...still-lifes: apples round as if done with compasses, triangular pears, crooked bowls, abundantly folded napkins;... at Schuffencker's, a white bowl against a blue-green background streaked with wallpaper flowers; next to it a urn-like glass, an unfolded napkin, apples supporting a lemon." (E. Bernard, "Paul Cézanne," in Les Hommes d'Aujourd'hui, 1890)

The present work was formerly in the collection of Michel-Ange Bernard-Fort, the son of the artist and Andrée Fort. The work then entered the renowned art collection of John and Frances Loeb, two of the 20th century’s most sophisticated and discerning collectors of Modern painting, extending from Manet to Mattise. Christie’s had the honour of bringing the collection of the late Mr and Mrs Loeb to auction in one of the most anticipated sales of 1997, which included Cezanne’s portrait of Madame Cézanne au fauteuil jaune, now housed in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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