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Pierre Bonnard

"Making colour lithographs has taught me a lot about painting."


Notes of biography

Pierre Bonnard was born in 1867 in Fontenay-aux-Roses near Paris, he was considered as one of the greatest painters of XX ° century. He first studied Law while frequenting the Julian (1887-1889) academy. Pierre Bonnard joined the Art college of Paris in 1888.
In the beginning of the 90s, he regularly participated in the Salon of the Independants, then in the Autumn Salon. From 1891 till 1898, Bonnard exhibited with the group Nabis. He was seen then as « the most Japanese of all the French painters ». Bonnard painted and drew his forms in arabesques and applied his colours in a flat way, avoiding any deep effect.
His first personal exhibition was organized in 1896 (Gallery Durand). Bonnard painted portraits, self- portraits, street scenes of Paris, scenes of the domestic life; he created ornamental panels. Bonnard contributed to the "Revue blanche". At the beginning of 1900s, the artist focused on the colour and the light. The preliminary drawing became more and more important in the construction of his big compositions; the artist liked giving to see with opened windows and mirrors. He wanted to seize the space in his global nature through his immediate sensation.
In 1909, the artist discovered the South of France (Côte d’Azur), then stayed there regularly. Bonnard discovered the South with its colours: « I had, he said, a blow of the Arabian Nights. The sea, the yellow walls, the reflections so colored as the lights ». The art of Bonnard showed a nature transfigured by what he felt; the used tones were melted, the forms were indistinct. Big subjects, always close to his personal life, were recurring; Pierre Bonnard painted landscapes, home life, still lives, bare feminine for which her wife Marie (Marthe) was often the model.
In 1926, he bought the Villa "Le Bosquet" in Le Cannet where he retired in 1939. Throughout his life, the graphic work was important: posters, drawings, lithographs, etchings, illustrations of books. Wildly independent, the artist found his own road, his soul getting the every day life with happiness.
Pierre Bonnard died in 1947 in Le Cannet (Côte d’Azur, France). He rests in the cemetery Notre Dame des Anges.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « Pierre Bonnard », Antoine Terrasse, Gallimard, 1967
  • « Bonnard », collectif, cat., Ed. Centre Georges Pompidou, 1984
  • « Pierre Bonnard : The graphic Art », C. Ives & others, M.M.A., New York, 1990
  • « Bonnard, du dessin au tableau », Michel Terrasse, Imprimerie Nationale, 1996
  • « Bonnard: La couleur agit », A. Terrasse, Découvertes Gal., Ed. Gallimard, 1999
  • « Bonnard - Vuillard : correspondance », A. Terrasse, Ed. Gallimard, 2001
  • « Bonnard inédits », G. Genty et P. Vernon, Cercle d’Art, 2003
  • « Bonnard », Nicholas Watkins, Ed. Phaidon Press, 2003
  • « P. Bonnard - Peindre l'Arcadie », coll., cat., Musée d'Orsay, Ed. Hazan, 2015
  • « Bonnard », Guy Cogeval, Ed. Hazan, 2015 (réed. du livre de 1993)
To read from the artist :
  • « Bonnard/Matisse, correspondance 1925-1946 », Gallimard, 1991
  • « Observations sur la peinture », Ed. L'Atelier Contemporain, 2015
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Art movements

+ JAPONISM / 1880-1895 / Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh, etc.
+ NABIS MOVEMENT / 1888-1910 / Paul Sérusier, Paul Ranson, Henri Gabriel Ibels, Maurice Denis, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover