The Pont-Aven School was formed by a group of French painters around Paul Gauguin at the end of the 19th century.
19th century. It was located both in the village of Pont-Aven, situated in the south of Brittany,
and in the nearby village of Le Pouldu on the Laïta. The name for the artists' colony came into being later.
The painters' works are characterised by the use of pure, luminous colours and are classified as Post-Impressionist.
As early as the mid-19th century, painters such as Camille Corot and Eugène Boudin, as well as poets such as Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac, had visited Brittany, as its rugged, unspoilt landscape offered them themes for their works.
Paul Gauguin stayed repeatedly in Pont-Aven from 1886 onwards.
School of Pont-Aven
Other artists followed - such as Émile Bernard and Paul Sérusier. They sought to overcome Impressionism.
The Pont-Aven school gave rise to the art movements of Synthetism and Cloisonism, which represented a counter-movement to Impressionism. Their works were highly regarded by the Nabis, the artists of Symbolism and Expressionism.
The emphasis on contours and colour values while abandoning open-air painting was a concern of the Pont-Aven school. The artists created their pictures partly from memory. What they saw was reduced to the essentials, so that form and colour reflected the painters' emotional moods independently of reality.
Gauguin left the Breton artists' colony in 1891 and moved to Tahiti. The Pont-Aven school remained in existence until around 1896.