An unfinished quality to this portrait of Madeleine Bernard is evident in the dramatic contrast between the sharp contours of the head and the model’s loosely sketched costume. Louis Anquetin used broad, flat areas of color to construct the sitter’s face and hair, and then confined them with dark outlines. The latter technique was known as “cloissonism” due to its evocation of stained glass and enamel techniques that used linear barriers to isolate pools of color. Both Anquetin and Émile Bernard, whose sister was the model for this portrait, were among the emerging artists whom van Gogh called “painters of the little boulevard.” Seeking strategies for a new art that would supersede Impressionism, they explored means of representation that emphasized the imagination over direct observation of nature.
Signed and dated LL:Anquetin / 92.