Pont-Aven School (French : École de Pont-Aven, Breton : Skol Pont Aven) encompasses works of art influenced by the Breton town of Pont-Aven and its surroundings. Originally the term applied to works created in the artists' colony at Pont-Aven, which started to emerge in the 1850s and lasted until the beginning of the 20th century. Many of the artists were inspired by the works of Paul Gauguin, who spent extended periods in the area in the late 1880s and early 1890s. Their work is frequently characterised by the bold use of pure colour and their Symbolist choice of subject matter.
Pont-Aven is a commune of the Finistère département , in Brittany, France, some distance inland from where the river Aven meets the Atlantic Ocean. From the 1850s painters began to frequent the village of Pont-Aven, wanting to spend their summers away from the city, on a low budget in a picturesque place not yet spoilt by tourism. Gauguin first worked in Pont-Aven in 1886.  When he returned in 1888, the situation had changed: Pont-Aven was already crowded, and Gauguin looked for an alternative place to work which he found, in 1889, in Le Pouldu (today part of the community of Clohars-Carnoët), some miles off to the East at the mouth of the river Laïta, traditionally the border of the Morbihan département. There, Gauguin, accompanied by Meijer de Haan, Charles Filiger and for a while by Sérusier, spent the winter of 1889/1890 and several months afterwards. 
The opening of the railway line from Paris to Quimper in 1862 encouraged tourism in Brittany. The first group of artists to arrive in Pont-Aven during the summer of 1866 consisted of American art students from Philadelphia including Robert Wylie, Charles Way, Earl Shinn and Howard Roberts. They were soon joined by three other Americans, Benjamin Champney, Frederick Bridgeman and Moses Wright, by two English painters, Lewis and Carraway, and by two Frenchmen. Over the next 15 years, the reputation of the colony spread far and wide, attracting many other painters. Jean-Léon Gérôme, one of the leading French Academic painters, encouraged his American students to go there, while French landscape artists such as William Bouguereau, Louis-Nicolas Cabat and Paul Sébillot also spent summers in the village. Among the other foreigners to visit were Herman van den Anker from the Netherlands, Augustus Burke from Ireland and Paul Peel from Canada.  The English illustrator Randolph Caldecott visited in 1880. He illustrated Henry Blackburn's Breton Folk: An Artistic Tour of Brittany (1880), one of the most popular guide-books of the time. His naive illustrations caught the imagination of the avant-garde visiting artists and Gauguin in particular, who is known to have imitated Caldecott's style in his drawings his first summer at Pont-Aven.  
There were three hotels ready to accommodate visitors: the Hôtel de Voyageurs, the Hôtel du Lion d'Or and the Pension Gloanec. The Pension Gloanec, where Gauguin and his circle lodged, was especially cheap. When Blackburn visited it offered demi-pension, i.e. board, breakfast and evening meal with cider thrown in, for just sixty francs a month.  The artists were attracted by the beauty of the surrounding countryside and the low cost of living. Many of them were looking for a new point of departure, hoping to break away from the Academic style of the École des Beaux-Arts and from Impressionism which was beginning to decline. Brittany opened up new horizons with its language, traditional dress, fervent Catholic belief, an oral tradition and the ubiquitous presence of granite crosses and churches. 
The two most innovative painters to arrive on the scene were Paul Gauguin and Émile Bernard. Gauguin had reached in Pont-Aven in July 1886 while Bernard came later in the summer.  When the two met again two years later, they consolidated their relationship.  Bernard showed Gauguin his Pardon à Pont-Aven (1888), which some believe inspired Gauguin to paint his Vision après le sermon , Bernard claiming he was the first to adopt the approach, which became known as Synthetism.   Other artists who stayed with Gauguin, first at the Pension Gloanec in Pont-Aven and later at the Buvette de la Plage in Le Pouldu, were Charles Filiger, Meijer de Haan, Charles Laval, Robert Bevan, Roderic O'Conor, Émile Schuffenecker, Armand Séguin and Władysław Ślewiński. After his first voyage to Tahiti in 1891, Gauguin returned to Pont-Aven for the last time in 1894, once again staying with his circle of friends at the Pension Gloanec.  
The style developed in Pont-Aven by Gauguin and Bernard was known as Synthetism as it was designed to synthetise or combine images, producing a new result which was quite different from Impressionism. It relied on a number of principles including the abandonment of faithful representation, the creation of a work based on the artist's memory of the subject but reflecting his feelings while painting, bold application of pure colour, the absence of perspective and shading, the application of Cloisonnism's flat forms separated by dark contours, and geometrical composition free of any unnecessary detail and trimmings. 
Arranged by year of arrival:
Post-Impressionism was a predominantly French art movement that developed roughly between 1886 and 1905, from the last Impressionist exhibition to the birth of Fauvism. Post-Impressionism emerged as a reaction against Impressionists' concern for the naturalistic depiction of light and colour. Its broad emphasis on abstract qualities or symbolic content means Post-Impressionism encompasses Les Nabis, Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Cloisonnism, the Pont-Aven School, and Synthetism, along with some later Impressionists' work. The movement's principal artists were Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat.
Les Nabis were a group of young French artists active in Paris from 1888 until 1900, who played a large part in the transition from impressionism and academic art to abstract art, symbolism and the other early movements of modernism. The members included Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Paul Ranson, Édouard Vuillard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Félix Vallotton, Paul Sérusier and Auguste Cazalis. Most were students at the Académie Julian in Paris in the late 1880s. The artists shared a common admiration for Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne and a determination to renew the art of painting, but varied greatly in their individual styles. They believed that a work of art was not a depiction of nature, but a synthesis of metaphors and symbols created by the artist. In 1900, the artists held their final exhibition and went their separate ways.
Synthetism is a term used by post-Impressionist artists like Paul Gauguin, Émile Bernard and Louis Anquetin to distinguish their work from Impressionism. Earlier, Synthetism has been connected to the term Cloisonnism, and later to Symbolism. The term is derived from the French verb synthétiser.
Émile Henri Bernard was a French Post-Impressionist painter and writer, who had artistic friendships with Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Eugène Boch, and at a later time, Paul Cézanne. Most of his notable work was accomplished at a young age, in the years 1886 through 1897. He is also associated with Cloisonnism and Synthetism, two late 19th-century art movements. Less known is Bernard's literary work, comprising plays, poetry, and art criticism as well as art historical statements that contain first-hand information on the crucial period of modern art to which Bernard had contributed.
Cloisonnism is a style of post-Impressionist painting with bold and flat forms separated by dark contours. The term was coined by critic Édouard Dujardin on the occasion of the Salon des Indépendants, in March 1888. Artists Émile Bernard, Louis Anquetin, Paul Gauguin, Paul Sérusier, and others started painting in this style in the late 19th century. The name evokes the technique of cloisonné, where wires are soldered to the body of the piece, filled with powdered glass, and then fired. Many of the same painters also described their works as Synthetism, a closely related movement.
Charles Laval was a French painter associated with the Synthetic movement and Pont-Aven School.
Pont-Aven is a commune in the Finistère department in the Brittany region in Northwestern France. In 2019, it had a population of 2,821.
The Yellow Christ is a painting executed by Paul Gauguin in 1889 in Pont-Aven. Together with The Green Christ, it is considered to be one of the key works of Symbolism in painting.
Meijer Isaac de Haan was a Dutch painter. In French the name was written Meyer de Haan.
Paul Sérusier was a French painter who was a pioneer of abstract art and an inspiration for the avant-garde Nabis movement, Synthetism and Cloisonnism.
This is an Émile Bernard chronology of the life and career of French artist, art critic and writer Émile Bernard, based on documents hitherto published - however, most of the relevant sources remain unpublished. To a certain extent, these gaps can be filled by information derived from letters and biographies of e.g. Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Émile Schuffenecker. Bernard and his work is associated with Post-Impressionism, Cloisonnism and Synthetism.
The Musée des Beaux Arts de Pont-Aven also known as Museum of Pont-Aven was created in 1985 with the support of the French Museum Department and the Finistère Conseil Général. The modern wing built in 1985 is reserved for exhibitions and the old wing, which was renovated in 1987, houses a historical reconstruction of Pont-Aven at the end of the 19th century as well as the permanent collection dedicated to the Pont-Aven School.
Breton Women at a Wall is an oil painting by Émile Bernard. It is part of the permanent collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Charles Filiger was a French Symbolist painter. He was one of the artists who associated with Gauguin at Pont-Aven in Brittany.
Émile Jourdan was a French painter who became one of the artists who gathered in the village of Pont-Aven in Brittany.
Mogens Ballin was a Danish artist, one of a group of painters who gathered in the Breton village of Pont-Aven. He later became a notable silversmith designing jewelry and lamps.
Henri Delavallée was a French Post-Impressionist painter who became a member of the artists colony in Pont-Aven.
The Talisman is a painting by French artist Paul Sérusier made in 1888, under the guidance of Paul Gauguin at the artist's colony of Pont-Aven in Brittany. Formally known as The Bois d'Amour at Pont Aven, it was called The Talisman and became the starting point and icon of the group of young painters called The Nabis. It was a landmark in early Post-Impressionism, Synthetism, and Cloisonnism. It is now in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
The Pension Gloanec was an inn in Pont-Aven, Brittany, France, that was a base for artists of the Pont-Aven School in the last half of the 19th century. It was known for economical but excellent quality food, where the diners served themselves from shared dishes set out on a long table in the dining room. There were few rooms, so most of the artists boarded elsewhere in the town. Its most famous resident was Paul Gauguin who stayed several times between 1886 and 1894. Today the building houses a bookstore, gallery and exhibition space.
Georges Rasetti was a French Impressionist and Modernist painter and ceramicist who was born in Paris, France. Rasetti began by being a painter of genre and landscapes. In 1886, he married Céline Chaudet, sister of Georges Chaudet, painter and photographer. His son, Georges Estrel Rasetti, was also a painter and sculptor.