Artist biography

Pierre Bonnard 1867-1947

French painter, lithographer and designer, born at Fontenay-aux-Roses. Studied law and also from 1888 attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian, where he met Denis, Vuillard, Ranson and Sérusier, with whom he was associated in the group the Nabis. Decided to become an artist in 1889 after selling a design for a poster. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1896. Contributed lithographs to the Revue Blanche and illustrated several books for Vollard, including Parallèlement (1900) and Daphnis et Chloé (1902). Worked first in a highly patterned style, then from c.1900 with more space and rounded forms. His early works mostly depict scenes of Parisian life. In 1912 bought a villa near Vernon, close to Giverny, the home of Claude Monet, and thenceforth divided his time between the Seine valley and the South (Grasse, Saint-Tropez, Le Cannet). His later works, landscapes, interiors, nudes and still life, became increasingly rich in colour. Died at Le Cannet.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.63-4