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    • Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)


        French Painter

        Pierre Bonnard became a painter after selling a poster to a champagne house in 1889. In 1890 he shared a studio with Vuillard and Denis, which was a meeting-place for the Nabis, with whom he was associated until the group broke up in 1899. Until then his work was strongly influenced by Japanese prints and based on flat decoration and asymmetrical composition. It was subdued, even dark, in colour.

        After 1900, his palette became richer, he used heavier impasto and more strongly modelled forms, and his - and Vuillard's - more Impressionist technique and choice of subjects became known as Intimisme. His subjects were limited: domestic interiors, many with a woman bathing, dressing or sleeping, family scenes around a table, and sunlit landscapes, all increasingly brilliant in light and colour, which made his work so influential on later painters. Marthe, whom he met in 1925, was usually the model for his domestic scenes and seems never to have aged. He also made many lithographs in colour and black-and-white, some as book-illustrations.

        Most museums of modern art have a work by him.

      • Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin Reference Books)


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Updated: 2006

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