Bonnard, Pierre

(1867-1947) Pierre Bonnard grew up in Fontenay-aux-Roses and studied law as a young man while also pursuing his passion for the arts. He was a French painter, printmaker and a founding member of Les Nabis, an avant-garde group of artists that used Post Impressionistic techniques to create symbolic and spiritual works. Bonnard was nicknamed “Nabi tres japonard,” “the very ultra-Japanese Nabi” because his works were inspired by Japanese prints that were in vogue at the time. He painted narrative themes of ordinary events such as picnics, sunlit interiors, gardens with friends and family, and subjects of love. He painted still life’s of fruits and flowers, portraits and landscapes as well as his wife Marthe who appears in many of his paintings. The Art Institute of Chicago showcased Bonnard’s work in 1938 with a successful opening. After his death in France in 1947, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City honored his work through a posthumous retrospective that was meant to be a celebration of his eightieth birthday.

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