Yellow Christ

Emile Bernard (French, 1868-1941)

Currently on View in H208
Image Licensing

The artists of Pont-Aven were moved by the piety of the Breton people and often painted religious themes. Here Bernard presents Christ in the Garden of Olives, with Judas and a guard on the left and the angel bearing the chalice at right.

The sleeping disciples have crude, simplified faces that resemble the carved heads adorning the ceiling of Trémalo Chapel at Pont-Aven.

Typical of his Pont-Aven style, Bernard abandoned rules of perspective, stacking the figures against flat planes of vivid color.

Possibly to (Ambroise Vollard [1867-1939], Paris). Possibly to Madame Madrenas, Paris.{1} (Galerie La Cave, Paris);{2} purchased by Samuel Josefowitz in 1978;{3} acquired as a partial gift, partial purchase by the IMA in 1998 (1998.171).

{1} Little is known of a Madame Madrenas. However, a painting by Berthe Morisot now in the Artemis Fine Arts Collection, London, gives a Blanche Madrenas, Paris, as a former owner.
{2} This painting was included in an exhibition of artists of the École de Pont-Aven held at the Galerie La Cave in spring 1978.
{3} See Josefowitz inventory card and bill of sale, copies in IMA Provenance file (1998.171).

Object Information

Emile Bernard (French, 1868-1941)
creation date
oil on canvas
27-9/16 x 23-5/8 in.
37 x 31-3/4 in. (framed)
mark descriptions
signed and dated L.L.: E. Bernard 1889
accession number
credit line
Samuel Josefowitz Collection of the School of Pont-Aven, through the generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc., the Josefowitz Family, Mr. and Mrs. James M. Cornelius, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard J. Betley, Lori and Dan Efroymson, and other Friends of the Museum
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1945

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