Pierre Bonnard

1867–1947

Pierre Bonnard, ‘Nude in the Bath’ 1925
Nude in the Bath 1925
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017
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Biography

R.B. Kitaj, ‘Mort’ 1966
R.B. Kitaj
Mort 1966
© The estate of R. B. Kitaj

Pierre Bonnard (French: [bɔnaʁ]; 3 October 1867 — 23 January 1947) was a French painter and printmaker, as well as a founding member of the Post-Impressionist group of avant-garde painters Les Nabis. Bonnard preferred to work from memory, using drawings as a reference, and his paintings are often characterized by a dreamlike quality. The intimate domestic scenes, for which he is perhaps best known, often include his wife Marthe de Meligny.

Bonnard has been described as "the most thoroughly idiosyncratic of all the great twentieth-century painters", and the unusual vantage points of his compositions rely less on traditional modes of pictorial structure than voluptuous color, poetic allusions and visual wit. Identified as a late practitioner of Impressionism in the early 20th century, Bonnard has since been recognized for his unique use of color and his complex imagery. "It's not just the colors that radiate in a Bonnard", writes Roberta Smith, "there’s also the heat of mixed emotions, rubbed into smoothness, shrouded in chromatic veils and intensified by unexpected spatial conundrums and by elusive, uneasy figures."

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Art Term

Nabis

Les Nabis were a group of post-impressionist French painters active from 1888–1900 whose work is characterised by flat patches ...

Art Term

Intimism

Intimism is a French term applied to paintings and drawings of quiet domestic scenes

Tate Etc.

Colour fields

Rose Hilton talks about her selection of works for her exhibition at Tate St Ives.