Having begun his studies at the École des Arts Décoratifs, Émile Bernard enrolled at the atelier of Fernand Cormon in 1884. It was here he met van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec and Louis Anquetin. After experimenting with various fashionable styles, Bernard and Anquetin developed Cloisonnism (closely related to Synthetism). Rejecting the naturalism of Impressionism and inspired by medieval stained glass, Cloisonnism focused on simple flat colours bordered by dark lines. From 1888-91, Bernard regularly worked alongside Gauguin, sparked by an earlier encounter at Pont-Aven. Bernard undoubtedly had a huge influence on the evolution of Gauguin’s style towards Synthetism – culminating in the latter’s masterpiece, Vision After the Sermon. Squabbles over the issue of originality led to a falling out. In the years following the acrimonious split, Bernard’s own work declined. However, his already considerable influence on the course of Post-Impressionism was not finished. His powerful writings did much to cement the reputations of both van Gogh and Cézanne.