Art I LOVE – Pierre Bonnard

French artist and printmaker  Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) was  one of the founding members of Les Nabis. 

Les Nabis were a group of avant-garde Post Impressionists who distorted colour and composition to  decorative effect. 

Bonnard was interested in unusual and unexpected angles and aerial perspectives – greatly influenced by Japanese prints. It is this which links him with Vuillard and the Nabis. 

His interest in capturing the light is very impressionistic but his expressive use of paint  and his intense close brushwork give his work expression. 

His wife Marthe features heavily in his work, often seen in the bath or eating a meal. 

Bonnard didn’t paint from life but preferred to draw his subjects first, sometimes photographing them. He always made notes of the colours.  He would then translate these colours onto canvas from his notes.

Video from Tate with thanks!

Read more about the Nabis here


3 thoughts on “Art I LOVE – Pierre Bonnard

  1. Thank you for introducing me to another interesting artist. I don’t recall viewing his work. I must have scooted right past examples, before. What really jumps out at me are his use of darks. They hold my eye to what he wants me to see. I also like the feeling of effortlessness in these paintings. Very encouraging, these are!!!!!! Thank you, Linda!!

  2. I love those pictures, Lynda. Some of them have such a rich colour you can almost feel the heat coming off the canvas! Others almost have a childlike quality, they look so easy to do yet no doubt are very difficult to emulate. Good post!

  3. Yes – these do look effortless Leslie, I love the brushstrokes and the sense of abandonment (which is probably very disciplined). I also like Sickert for his unusual angles (I’ll be doing a post on him soon 🙂 )

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