Friday 29 July 2011

Pierre Bonnard - part 3

Self-portrait c1945 oil on canvas

This is the third of a four-part post on the works of French artist Pierre Bonnard. For biographical notes and paintings, see parts 1 and 2 also.

A major figure of the Nabis movement, Pierre Bonnard (1867 - 1947) first gained fame for his lithographs and posters in the early 1890s, serving as inspiration for Toulouse-Lautrec, among others.
Far from academic considerations, and drawing on the clarity of Japanese prints (whence his nickname "Bonnard le Japonard"), his graphic style was spare and casual, characterised by bold design layouts, using refined tonal values and textures to evoke the bustle of urban life or the warm intimacy of an interior.

Stone lithography was invented in 1798, and it was the first new printmaking technique to emerge in about 300 years. Stone lithography became very popular as a medium by the 1830s. People used stone lithography to create colour art for books, as well as for more pedestrian things like labels, flyers and posters.

Stone lithography's popularity with artists came about because it was the first printmaking medium to allow the artist to naturally "paint" or "draw" onto a flat stone to create an image. The artist creates the work directly and naturally.

The artist draws/paints on the stone with a greasy substance. For example, a litho crayon is a soft waxy/greasy crayon. There are also litho paints and pencils. The stone picks up this greasy substance and holds it.
The stone is moistened with water. The parts of the stone not protected by the greasy paint soak up the water.
Oil-based ink is rolled onto the stone. The greasy parts of the stone pick up the ink, while the wet parts do not.
A piece of paper is pressed onto the stone, and the ink transfers from the stone to the paper.

Avenue du Bois


Coin de rue

Corbeille de fruits

Dans la rue

Femme dans sa baignoire

Frontispiece pour la "Lithographie en Couleurs"


Jeune fille dans une barque

L'Enfante a la lampe

La Petite Blanchisseuse

Le Canotage

Le Tapis Rouge

Les Boulevards

Maison dans la cour

Marchand des quatre-saisons


Paysage de Normandie

Place Clichy

Rue vue d'en haut

Scène de famille

Scène de famille

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Pierre Bonnard - part 2

c1889 Self-portrait

This is part two of a four-part post on the works of French artist Pierre Bonnard. For earlier works and biographical notes see part one below. Parts three and four will feature lithographs and the commercial works by Bonnard respectively.

c1921-3 Young Woman in the Garden

c1922-30 Standing Nude

1923 In front of the Window at Le Grand-Lemps

1923 Nude Bending Down

1924 Before Dinner

c1924 Nude, Yellow Background

1925 Nude in the Bath

1925 The Bath

1925 The Table

1925 The Window

1930 Bouquet

1930 The Provençal Jug

c1930 The Seine at Vernonnet

1932 La Toilette

1934-5 Dining Room on the Garden

1934-5 Table in front of the Window

c1936-8 The Yellow Boat

1939 Horse-hair Glove

1939 The Chequered Tablecloth

1939 The Terrace at Vernonnet

1940 Basket of Fruit, Oranges and Persimmons

1940 Nude Crouching in the Bath 

1940 The Dessert

1940 The Full-length Mirror

1946 Female Nude in Bathtub

Monday 25 July 2011

Pierre Bonnard - part 1

This is the first of a four-part post on the French artist Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947). The feature Bonnard’s paintings, lithographs, and lesser known commercial art.

Bonnard was born in 1867 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France. He began studying law in Paris in 1887. In the same year he also attended the Académie Julian, and in 1888 entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he met Ker-Xavier Roussel and Edouard Vuillard, who became his lifelong friends. Bonnard gave up law to become an artist, and, after brief military service, he joined the group of young painters called the Nabis (the prophets) in 1889, which was organized by Paul Sérusier and included Maurice Denis, Paul Ranson, Roussel, Vuillard, and others. The Nabis, influenced by Paul Gauguin and Japanese prints, experimented with arbitrary colour, expressive line, a wide range of mediums, and flat, patterned surfaces.

In 1890 Bonnard shared a studio with Vuillard and Denis, and he began to make colour lithographs. In the following year, 1891, he met Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and had his first show at the Salon des Indépendants and in the Nabis’s earliest exhibitions at Le Barc de Boutteville. He exhibited with the Nabis until they disbanded in 1900. Bonnard worked in a variety of mediums – he frequently made posters and illustrations for La Revue blanche, and in 1895 he designed a stained-glass window for Louis Comfort Tiffany. His first solo show, at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in 1896, included paintings, posters, and lithographs. In 1897 Ambroise Vollard published the first of many albums of Bonnard’s lithographs and illustrated books.

In 1903 Bonnard participated in the first Salon d’Automne and in the Vienna Secession, and from 1906 he was represented by Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris. He travelled abroad extensively and worked at various locations in Normandy, the Seine valley, and the south of France (he bought a villa in Le Cannet near Cannes in 1925), as well as in Paris. The Art Institute of Chicago mounted a major exhibition of the work of Bonnard and Vuillard in 1933, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized Bonnard retrospectives in 1946 and 1964. Bonnard died on January 23, 1947, in Le Cannet, France.

1891 Woman with Dog

1894 Woman Washing her Feet

c1894 Two Dogs in a Deserted Street

c1899 Table Setting under the Lamp 

1907 In the Bathroom

1907 Woman Bending Over 

1908 In the Mirror

1908 Table in the Garden

c1908-12 Hambourg, Picnic

c1909 Woman in front of a mirror

1910 Girl with Parrot

1912 La Place Clichy

1912 Saint-Tropez, Pier

1912 Summer in Normandy

1912 Summer, Dance

1912 Woman with Cat

c1912-14 Lane at Vernonnet

1914 La Toilette

1915 Coffee

c1916-20 Earthly Paradise

1919 Nude in Front of the Mantlepiece

1919 The Bowl of Milk

c1919 Bathing Woman, Seen from the Back

1920 Balcony at Vernonnet

1920 Interior with a Woman in a Wicker Chair

1921 The Open Window

 In part 2: more paintings from 1921 and 1946.