was born in Fontenay-aux-Roses, a town south-west of Paris, on October
13, 1867. At first he studies law at the Sorbonne in Paris from 1885
to 1888. He soon turns to painting and attends the École des
Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian as of 1888, which is where he
gets to know
Paul Sérusier and Edouard Vuillard, together they start the artists group
(Hebrew: Prophets) in 1889. They gear their works at the art of
whose works they see in an
exhibition at the Café Volpini. They are impressed by his
emphasize on planarity, meaning the arrangement of colors on the
surface, regardless of any accurate depiction of the object, with
the focus on the artist's subjective emotions and imagination.
Pierre Bonnard's first
one-man show takes place in the gallery of Paul Durand-Ruel in 1896.
As of 1903 he regularly participates in exhibitions in the Paris Fall
Salon. He begins to deal with the art of Japanese woodcuts, which takes
him to a more decorative concept and to an organic-ornamental style,
closely linking him with
Pierre Bonnard works as a painter, graphic artist, illustrator, poster
designer, but he also makes furniture and stage designs. He makes numerous
illustrations, mostly lithographs, for the magazine “La Revue
Blanche.” He is regarded as one of the precursors of modern European
poster art. In 1891 he makes the poster “France Champagne.”
Pierre Bonnard's lithographs are published by Ambroise Vollard as of 1895.
He illustrates Paul Verlaine's work “Parallèlement” in
1900, in 1902 he makes the lithographs for “Daphnis and Chloe.”
Everyday Parisian street
scenes supply him with the motifs of his paintings, with an eye for the
small details. In 1900 he makes the painting “Street Traffic,”
which counts among the most characteristic for this period.
As of 1903 he exhibits in
the newly found Salon d'Automne. His very own style does not begin to
unfold after the breakup of “Nabis” in 1905. He attains a more
tense arrangement of his compositions and a smoother, warmer and lighter
palette. His painting now comprises nudes, landscapes, still life and
portraits. Numerous landscapes are made on his journeys to Holland, Belgium,
Great Britain, Italy, Spain and North Africa, most of which he does
as of 1907.
He marries in 1925, and
moves to the town of Le Cannet in South France in 1926, which will remain
his place of residence. In 1947 — shortly before his death —
Bonnard completes the large mural “Saint Francis visiting the
Sick” in the church of Assy. Pierre Bonnard dies in Le Cannet on
January 23, 1947.
accompanying this article is of Pierre Bonnard, a Self-Portrait, c.
1889. Tempera on canvas, 21.5 x 15.8 cm, and is in a private