Pierre Bonnard

Description: Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867-1947), “Le Boulevards,” 1900, lithograph, unsigned, edition of 100, stamp on verso, sheet: 11″h x 14.25″w, overall (with mat): 18″h x 20″w. Note: Ref: Bouvet, 72, Roger-Marx, 74.

Pierre Bonnard (3 October 1867 – 23 January 1947) was a French painter, illustrator, and printmaker, known especially for the stylized decorative qualities of his paintings and his bold use of color. He was a founding member of the Post-Impressionist group of avant-garde painters Les Nabis, and his early work was strongly influenced by the work of Paul Gauguin, and the prints of Hokusai and other Japanese artists. He was a leading figure in the transition from impressionism to modernism. He painted landscapes, urban scenes, portraits and intimate domestic scenes, where the backgrounds, colors and painting style usually took precedence over the subject.

Although Bonnard avoided public attention, his work sold well during his life. At the time of his death his reputation had already been eclipsed by subsequent avant-garde developments in the art world; reviewing a retrospective of Bonnard’s work in Paris in 1947. Two major exhibitions of Bonnard’s work took place in 1998: February through May at the Tate Gallery in London, and from June through October at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 2009 the exhibition “Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors” was shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 2016 the Legion of Honor in San Francisco hosted an exhibit “Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia”, featuring more than 70 works that span the artist’s entire career.

Bonnard’s record price in a public sale was for Terrasse à Vernon, sold by Christie’s in 2011 for €8,485,287 (£7,014,200).

In 2014 the painting La femme aux Deux Fauteuils (Woman with Two Armchairs), with an estimated value of around €600,000 (£497,000), which had been stolen in London in 1970, was discovered in Italy. The painting, together with a work by Paul Gauguin known as Fruit on a Table with a Small Dog had been bought by a Fiat employee in 1975, at a railway lost-property sale, for 45,000 lira (about £32).