Pierre Bonnard, Fontenay-aux-Roses 1867 - 1947 Le Cannet

  • Pierre Bonnard

    Fontenay-aux-Roses 1867 - 1947 Le Cannet

A leading figure of French Post-Impressionism, Pierre Bonnard was one of the great colourists of art history. Bonnard began learning to paint while studying for a law degree at the Sorbonne.  He took art classes at the École des Beaux-Arts, and in 1889 took the decision to enrol at the Académie Julian. There he soon joined a group of like-minded young artists, including Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier, Félix Vallotton, Edouard Vuillard, and others who went on to form the Symbolist group known as Les Nabis (from the Hebrew word meaning prophets). The Nabis painters, inspired by the pure colours and simplified, flattened forms of Paul Gauguin and the bold compositions of Japanese prints, sought to achieve a purely decorative quality in their works. Yet while Bonnard embraced this aesthetic, he eschewed the mystical and metaphorical subjects favoured by his contemporaries, instead painting scenes of daily life in domestic interiors which together with the works of Vuillard gave rise to the term Intimisme. The Nabis disbanded by the turn of the century, and by 1910, Bonnard had left Paris for the south of France. Despite the emergence of new movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism, Bonnard continued in developing his own style, looking largely to Impressionism for inspiration. In 1927, the artist purchased a villa Le Cannet, a small village near Cannes in the south of France, where he lived for twenty years, until his death in 1947. Bonnard’s late landscapes and interiors looking through to gardens, often featuring his beloved wife Marthe, are notable for their luminosity, intimacy, and tranquillity.


Pierre Bonnard
Fontenay-aux-Roses 1867–1947 Le Cannet
Young Girls with a Dog (Two Daughters of Alexandre Natanson), 1910
Oil on canvas
99.8 x 81 cm (39 1/4 x 31 7/8 in.)
With frame: 125 x 104.5 cm (49 1/4 x 41 1/8 in.)