Gad Frederik Clement, Village in Brittany
Gad Frederik Clement (1867-1933)

Village in Brittany, c. 1892

Oil on canvas, H. 0.44 m; W. 0.33 m

Provenance: Private collection, France.


Viborg, Skorgaard Museet, Konstnere Omkring Taarnet, October-November 1976, n°109.

Gauguin et l’École de Pont-Aven, April-November 1993, Tokyo, Bunkamura Museum of Art; Kyoto, National Museum of Modern Art; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art; Mie, Prefectural Art Museum and Koriyama City Museum of Art, p. 115, n°94 (illustrated in colour).

Gauguin and the Pont-Aven School, Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, May-July 1994, p. 105, n°62 (illustrated in colour; detail reproduced, p. 103).

Gauguin and the School of Pont-Aven, Indianapolis Museum of Art; Baltimore, The Walters Art Gallery; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal; Memphis, The Dixon Gallery and Gardens; San Diego Museum of Art; Portland Museum of Fine Arts; Boston Museum of Fine Arts et Jerusalem, The Israël Museum, September 1994 – January 1997, p. 90, n°62 (illustrated in colour).

Our painting can be linked to the Pont-Aven School, a movement of painting founded by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) and a young Émile Bernard (1868-1941) in 1888. Pont-Aven is a small village on the Breton coast where a cosmopolitan colony of artists was created about 1860. Gauguin and Émile Bernard developed a new visual language there, far from naturalism. Their subjective vision was communicated through pure colour and simple forms juxtaposed and surrounded by a darker outline. Among their sources of inspiration were Japanese prints, allowing them to dare to use innovative compositions and to abandon traditional perspective completely. The great modernity of their methods lies in their awareness that they could detach themselves from reality to create a being in itself, the painting, a creature with its own life.

Gad Frederik Clement is one of the few Danish artists to have travelled to Brittany. At the start of his career, around 1890-1895, his art was heavily influenced by the Symbolist painters Ludvig Find and Mogens Ballin. His interest in Symbolism was intensified when he met Paul Gauguin and his painter friends in France. Clement spent the winter of 1890-1891 in Paris with Mogens Ballin. During the summer of 1892 he worked in Brittany1 and painted a series of landscapes that are close to Gauguin’s manner.

  1. Vera Rasmussen, “G.F. Clement”, Weilbach. Dansk Kunstnerleksikon, 4th version, 1994: []