Bonnard was born in Fontenay-aux-Roses, Hauts-de-Seine on 3 October 1867. He led a happy and carefree youth as the son of a prominent official of the French Ministry of War. At the insistence of his father, Bonnard studied law, graduating and briefly practicing as a barrister. However, he had also attended art classes on the side, and soon decided to become an artist.
In his 20s he was a part of Les Nabis, a group of young artists committed to creating work of symbolic and spiritual nature. Other Nabis include Édouard Vuillard and Maurice Denis. He left Paris in 1910 for the south of France.
Bonnard is known for his intense use of color, especially via areas built with small brush marks and close values. His often complex compositions—typically of sunlit interiors of rooms and gardens populated with friends and family members—are both narrative and autobiographical. His wife Marthe was an ever-present subject over the course of several decades. She is seen seated at the kitchen table, with the remnants of a meal; or nude, as in a series of paintings where she reclines in the bathtub. He also painted several self-portraits, landscapes, street scenes, and many still lifes, which usually depicted flowers and fruit.
Bonnard did not paint from life but rather drew his subject—sometimes photographing it as well—and made notes on the colors. He then painted the canvas in his studio from his notes.1
In 1938 there was a major exhibition of his work along with Vuillard's at the Art Institute of Chicago. He finished his last painting, The Almond Tree in Blossom, a week before his death in his cottage on La Route de Serra Capeou near Le Cannet, on the French Riviera, in 1947. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City organized a posthumous retrospective of Bonnard's work in 1948, although originally it was meant to be a celebration of the artist's 80th birthday.
Bonnard' s record price in a public sale "Terrasse à Vernon" was sold at Christie's in 2011 for 8,485,287 euros.
|Works by Pierre Bonnard|
- Cowling and Mundy, 1990, p. 38.
- Cowling, Elizabeth; Mundy, Jennifer (1990). On Classic Ground: Picasso, Léger, de Chirico and the New Classicism 1910-1930. London: Tate Gallery. ISBN 1-85437-043-X
- Frèches-Thory, Claire, & Perucchi-Petry, Ursula, ed.: Die Nabis: Propheten der Moderne, Kunsthaus Zürich & Grand Palais, Paris & Prestel, Munich 1993 ISBN 3-7913-1969-8 (German), (French)
- Hyman, Timothy (1998) Bonnard. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-20310-1
- Ives, Colta, et al. (1989). Pierre Bonnard, the graphic art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780810931008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pierre Bonnard.|
- A tribute to Pierre Bonnard
- Pierre Bonnard at the Museum of Modern Art
- Biography and some pictures
- Guggenheim museum
- Met Exhibition - Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors January 27, 2009–April 19, 2009
- "Complicated Bliss" by Jed Perl, The New Republic, 1 April 2009
- Works by Pierre Bonnard (public domain in Canada)