PIERRE BONNARD (French 1867-1947)
“An idea being the starting point of a picture, there is danger that the artist will allow himself to be influenced by the immediate, direct view of its details, if the object is there while he works. Through the sway his original idea holds over him, the painter attains the universal. If this idea fades, there remains only the motif, the object which overcomes the painter.”
Pierre Bonnard referring to one of his Bouquets
Noted French painter Pierre Bonnard was born at Fontenay-aux-Roses. His first gallery exhibition was in the small gallery of Le Barc de Boutteville, along with his friends Vuillard, Roussel, Lautrec and Denis. Calling themselves the Nabis, the critics re-named them the Symbolists or the Revue Blanche, the group remained artistic affiliates until 1899. Upon Bonnard’s separation from the group, his palette became richer, utilizing heavier impasto and more strongly modelled forms. However, throughout his career, his subjects were primarily domestic scenes: families gathered around a table, women dressing or bathing, sunsets or seascapes or household interiors. Though there is some similarity between some of his landscapes and still-lifes and the work of the great Impressionists, Bonnard remains singular in his technique. The constant transposition of line as well as color and the tremendous sense of mystery and tenderness he extracts from everyday scenes are constants in his work. From the ordinary, Bonnard created sublimely poetic compositions, marvels of invention, craft and light.