Pierre Bonnard: The Late Still Lifes and Interiors

Pierre Bonnard: The Late Still Lifes and Interiors

3.5 2
by Dita Amory
     
 

Working in his villa in the south of France, Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947) suffused his late canvases with radiant Mediterranean light and dazzling color. Although his subjects were close at hand—usually everyday domestic scenes—Bonnard rarely painted from life. Instead, he made pencil sketches in diaries and relied on these, along with his memory, as

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Overview

Working in his villa in the south of France, Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947) suffused his late canvases with radiant Mediterranean light and dazzling color. Although his subjects were close at hand—usually everyday domestic scenes—Bonnard rarely painted from life. Instead, he made pencil sketches in diaries and relied on these, along with his memory, as he executed the works in his studio. These interiors thus often conflate details from the artist’s daily life with fleeting, mysterious evocations of his past. The spectral figures who appear at the margins of the canvases, overshadowed by brilliantly colored baskets of fruit or other props, create an atmosphere of profound ambiguity and puzzling abstraction: the mundane rendered in a wholly new pictorial language.

The 75 paintings, drawings, and watercolors in this volume, some rarely seen treasures from private collections, all made between 1923 and 1947, are central to the ongoing reappraisal of Bonnard as a leading figure of French modernism.

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Editorial Reviews

Good Book Guide

“. . . this handsome volume includes seventy-five carefully selected works from galleries and private collections from around the world . . . These works are fresh, engaging and superbly presented in a book that will warm the heart of each and every art lover.” — Good Book Guide
Library Journal

This beautifully and generously illustrated (146 reproductions, including 125 in full color) publication accompanies the first museum show to focus on the late still-life imagery and interiors created by French painter Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) while he was living in the south of France. At that time, the artist was painting radiant, vibrant, colorful masterpieces, permeated with Mediterranean light and influences from his immediate surroundings, which to some viewers appeared more reminiscent of works created by the 19th-century impressionists than those by 20th-century modernists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Assessing more than 75 paintings, drawings, and watercolors-some of which are rarely seen outside of private art collections-in detailed catalog entries that encompass provenances, selected references, exhibition histories, and analyses, Amory (associate curator, Robert Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art) and others also attempt to reassess Bonnard's career and late artworks in terms of 20th-century art and French modernism. A selected chronology and lists of contributors and lenders further enhance this well-documented, thoughtful, and meticulous scholarly publication. Strongly recommended.
—Cheryl Ann Lajos

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300148893
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
02/24/2009
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
888,644
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 12.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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