I enjoy the interior scenes of French painter Pierre Bonnard. He was born on October 3, 1867 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, a suburb of Paris.
Bonnard settled in Paris in 1888, where he studied at the Académie Julien and the École des Beaux-Arts. With Maurice Denis and Édouard Vuillard (with whom he shared a studio), he was influenced by Paul Gauguin’s expressive use of color and formed the Nabis. The name comes from the Hebrew word for “prophet.” I saw some of his paintings this summer at the musée du Sénat’s lovely exhibit about the movement.
While other artists at the end of the 19th century were tending towards abstraction, Bonnard was influenced by Japanese prints and concentrated on landscapes and interiors which strove to create subtle effects in light and color at the expense of perspective. At the turn of the century he was moved by the intensity and passion in the paintings of Van Gogh and this led him to become a founding member of the Salon d’Automne in 1903. Thereafter he was influenced by Les Fauves (literally “the wild beasts”), whose strident colors and distorted images he tamed and harnessed to his own style. Bonnard died in southwestern France on January 23, 1947.