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Pierre Bonnard and the Nabis.

Pierre Bonnard was a French painter and printmaker,

born on October 3, 1867, and he continued to create art until his passing on January 23, 1947.


He was a prominent figure in the post-impressionist movement and a founding member of the avant-garde group Les Nabis.


Bonnard's art is often characterized by its vibrant colors, intimate scenes, and a focus on everyday life. His work is a beautiful blend of both traditional and modern elements, creating a unique and distinctive style. He was known for his use of bold colors, especially in depicting domestic scenes, landscapes, and still life.


One of Bonnard's significant influences was Japanese prints, which is evident in his compositions and use of flattened perspectives. His paintings often feature rich patterns, lush interiors, and an exploration of the interplay between light and shadow.


Bonnard's personal life greatly influenced his art. He frequently painted scenes from his domestic life, particularly those featuring his wife Marthe. His depictions of daily activities, such as meals and bathing, offer a glimpse into the private and mundane moments of his life.


Despite being associated with Les Nabis, Bonnard's work evolved over time. He moved away from their more symbolic and decorative style towards a more personal and expressive approach. In the later years of his career, he delved into a more abstract and introspective realm.

His legacy endures through his contributions to modern art, with his influence seen in the works of later artists. Pierre Bonnard's ability to capture the essence of life and infuse it with his unique artistic vision continues to resonate with art enthusiasts worldwide.


Pierre Bonnard's works reflect a diversity of subjects and styles throughout his career. Here's an overview of some of his iconic pieces:


Les Nabis and Japanese influence : During his time with Les Nabis, Bonnard drew inspiration from Japanese prints, incorporating floral motifs and bold compositions. A notable example is "Woman with a Hat" (1892).


Domestic scenes: Bonnard was famous for his intimate depictions of everyday life. Scenes from domestic life with his wife Marthe, such as "The Dining Room" (c. 1913), illustrate his talent for capturing the intimacy and warmth of ordinary moments.

Nudes and bathers: The artist also explored the theme of nudity, often in aquatic settings. "Nude in the Bath" (1936-1938) is an example of his ability to express sensuality through composition and color.


Landscapes: Bonnard created numerous landscapes, featuring vibrant colors and play of light. "Le Cannet, View of the Sea" (1927) beautifully depicts the Mediterranean with his characteristic palette.


Self-portraits : Over the years, Bonnard painted several self-portraits, reflecting his artistic and personal evolution. "Self-Portrait with Palette" (c. 1935) is an example where he portrays himself while painting.


Murals: Bonnard also created murals, some of which are found in the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher in Vernonnet. These mural works demonstrate his ability to work on a large scale while maintaining his distinctive style.

These examples showcase the diversity of themes explored by Bonnard and his skill in merging everyday beauty with a modern aesthetic, creating a lasting legacy in the art world.


Photos: Centre Pompidou

               Rivage de Boheme


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