|"Vase de Fleurs" by Pierre Bonnard.|
Pierre Bonnard was born in Born in Fontenay-aux-Roses, in the Ile-de-France, France in 1867 and he died in 1947. He studied at the Academie Jullian, where he met Vuillard, Maurice Denis, K. X. Roussel, and Serusier, with whom he participated in the Nabis. As a young student he was influenced by Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Toulouse-Lautrec, and developed a great interest in Japanese prints. In 1891 he exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Independants and in group shows with the Nabis. Five years later he had his first one-man show of paintings, posters, and lithographs at Durand-Ruel's. During this period his lithographs appeared in the Revue Blanche and L'Escarmouche, as well as in a portfolio called Quelques Aspects de la Vie de Paris which Vollard published in 1895. He also worked on sets, costumes, and posters for the Theatre de l'CEuvre and the Theatre des Pantins and modeled marionettes for a play with music by his brother-in-law, Claude Terrasse. In 1900 Ambroise Vollard commissioned him to illustrate with lithographs Parellilement and Daphnis et Chloi. Both are masterpieces of graphic art. In 1903 Bonnard exhibited in the first Salon d'Automne and in the Viennese Secession show and subsequently participated in many important exhibitions in Europe and America. He also had a number of one-man shows in Paris, London, New York, and other cities. His style, at first decorative and subdued in color, became much freer and brighter after 1900. Transposing the universe into colors, he painted landscapes, still lifes, and nudes transfigured by a shining light. Revolting against the fashions and theories of his contemporaries, Bonnard went his own way. He was an extremely modest man and very hard on himself, but his work is characterized by a charming ever-youthful, good-natured cheerfulness and by an increasing audacity of color harmonies. In 1912 he bought a house at Vernnet, in the Seine Valley, not far from Paris, and subsequently divided his time between there and the south of France. He died in 1947 in his house in Le Cannet on the Cote d'Azur.