Art: Gauguin Before Gauguin

Through half a century Paul Gauguin has become increasingly famous as a painter of genius who invented a unique style. In that same period Emile Bernard has languished in the shadow as a second-rate symbolist. But back in the 1880s it was Bernard, at 20, just half Gauguin's age, who led the older man beyond impressionism and guided him toward the style that now defines him. Bernard was painting like Gauguin before Gauguin himself.

Evidence of the origin of Gauguin's style was on exhibition last week in Manhattan's new Hirschl & Adler Galleries, the first time Bernard has ever had a one-man...

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