Pierre Bonnard


Artist Biography:

Pierre Bonnard was born in France in 1867. In 1888 he moved to Paris, firstly to study at the Académie Julian and then at the École des Beaux Arts. At the École des Beaux Arts he met Édouard Vuillard, an artist who was to become his lifelong friend and with whom he developed the style of intimate domestic interior scene which became known as ‘Intimiste’. After regularly exhibiting at the Salon des Indépendents, Bonnard was a founder member of the Salon d’Automne in 1903. Bonnard’s exuberance was reserved for his art, his life being largely serene and relatively uneventful. His wife, Maria Boursin, known as Marthe de Meligny, frequently modelled for him and appears in many of his best-known pictures. Bonnard became one of the most distinguished upholders of the Impressionist tradition. He learned from every new development and added vibrant and strong colours to the Impressionist palette without ever stepping over the conventional boundaries into the avant-garde. His work radiates a sense of well-being which won him great popularity with the public and collectors alike. In 1940 Bonnard became one of the very few foreign painters to be elected a member of the Royal Academy and in 1966 the Royal Academy held the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of his work then seen. Bonnard was also the subject of a blockbusting exhibition which toured many of the world’s great galleries and museums in the late 1990s. Pierre Bonnard died in 1947.

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