Pierre Bonnard 1867-1947

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Bonnard and the Nabis group were particularly influenced by Japanese prints and the dramatic use of color by Paul Gauguin. His work was immensely popular, and was exhibited at the Salon des Independents from 1891. At about the same time he helped to establish the Salon d’ Automnes, and also was one of its regular exhibitors.


The Cab Horse, (1895), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

By 1900, the Nabis group had disbanded and Bonnard began traveling around Europe. Because Bonnard enjoyed such commercial success at the outset of his career, he is often thought of as a nineteenth century artist. Many contemporary scholars, however, believe his best work was later.


La Famille Terrasse, (1902), 147 x 209 cm., Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany.

Just after the turn of the century, Bonnard became interested in photography. He also started using mirrors as a device in his paintings; space is flattened through the use of the mirror.


Femme devant un mirior (1908), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Bonnard painted from memory, not from life. He sometimes took years to complete paintings. He did not use an easel but rather pinned canvas to the wall. Often Bonnard worked on several pictures on one canvas.


Table Set in a Garden (1908), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

In 1920, he bought property near Giverny and became friendly with Monet. Several years later he moved to the Midi, where he visited with Renoir who lived close by. In 1925 Bonnard married his long-time muse and companion Marthe, and shortly afterward moved to the small house, Le Bosquet, near Cannes. The house, and particularly its bathroom, was immortalized in a series of paintings of Marthe in or around the bathtub.


The Bathroom (1932) oil on canvas, 47 5/8 x 46 ½ inches; Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

Bonnard enjoyed international acclaim for most of his career. He was one of the only non-British elected to the Royal Academy of England. He visited America in 1926 and served on the jury of the Carnegie International Exhibit in Pittsburgh. Bonnard lived through the World War II years in Côte D’Azur and died in 1947.

We would be pleased to research the authenticity of any picture you think is by Bonnard. Please contact Art Experts.


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