and other experimental artists. Also known as Cloisonnism, the movement began in Pont-Aven. A cloisonné was an early form of metalwork – popular in China and Japan – that involved using metal strips or wires to separate colors on vases and other ornaments. Gauguin transferred the idea to paintings, using bold outlines, and the term Cloisonnism was coined by the art critic Édouard Dujardin in 1888 to describe this modernist art movement. The style lasted from this time until the death of Gauguin in the early 1900s, whose best work to include the medium is Vision after the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel , 1888. Gauguin was not alone in its use and other well- known artists to use Cloisonnism include Bernard, his good friend, Jacob Meyer de Haan, Louis Anquetin, and Paul Ranson. Gauguin did not have a term for his overall style, however, and Post-Impressionism was not coined until Roger Fry, celebrating the likes of Gauguin and Cézanne at a high-profile art exhibition at the Grafton Gallery in London, which opened in November 1910, used the term to describe the young French artists whom he was hoping to promote, alongside Manet, to a fresh, new audience. Whatever term Gauguin might have used for his own works, he helped to push the boundaries of Impressionism in a new direction which, now known as Post-Impressionism, was to last from the mid-1880s to the early 1900s. The new movement included a number of painters who exaggerated their Impressionistic roots and “invented” other mediums, including Expressionism, Pointillism, Pictorialism, Cloisonnism, the Nabis, Intimist, and Fauvism. It was revolutionary, it was experimental, and it was exciting. It broke away from tradition, pushed the boundaries of acceptability, and moved art history in a direction from which modern art would develop toward contemporary art in the mid-20 th century. Gauguin played an essential part in this development by creating something new and fresh, extending the parameters of art and showing foresight to an art industry and public that were, sadly, not quite ready for him.


(Mary Evans/Epic/Tallandier)

 ABOVE:  A portrait of painter Émile Bernard (1868-1941) by Toulouse-Lautrec. Bernard was a close friend of Gauguin.  OPPOSITE:  Gazers at paintings few appreciate and fewer understand: Sketches of the 1910-1911 Manet and the Post-Impressionists Exhibition at the Grafton Gallery in London. This controversial exhibition introduced modern art to Britain and was organized and curated by Roger Fry.

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