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  • Pierre Bonnard
    Oct 03, 1867 - Jan 23, 1947
  • Bouquet de Mimosas - Pierre Bonnard was a French painter who helped provide a bridge between impressionism and the abstraction explored by post-impressionists. He is known for the bold colors in his work and a fondness for painting elements of everyday life, member of the group of artists called the Nabis and afterward a leader of the Intimists; he is generally regarded as one of the greatest colourists of modern art.
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Bouquet de Mimosas
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  • Bouquet de Mimosas

  • Pierre Bonnard
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  • circa 1945
    Oil on canvas
    24 5/8 x 26 3/4 in.

    Bonnard's luxuriant still lifes, created in his home overlooking the Mediterranean, capture all of the light, color and splendor of the south of France. The present composition, which is believed to be one of the artist's last great paintings, depicts a bouquet of mimosas, picked from the artist's garden. Painted around 1945, the composition here is daringly abstract and calls to mind the canvases of the Abstract Expressionists, whose color-field paintings would make their debut in the United States a decade later. Similar to the transcendental oil compositions of Mark Rothko (fig. 1), Bonnard's canvas is saturated with color, the individual elements and tones blending into a harmonious and unified vision.

    In the recent exhibition catalogue of Bonnard's still lifes, Dita Amory has written the following on this picture: "If the light in Bonnard's late paintings often seems to transform color, and what color describes, into brilliant tapestries of mottled hues, this painting of a vase of mimosas, one of the artist's last still lifes, is an epiphany of light's full potential. The warm yellows and burning orange brushstrokes build a surface that pulsates with energy. The flowers of the mimosa tree in Bonnard's garden at Le Bosquet often found their way into the late interiors" (Dita Amory, Pierre Bonnard, The Late Still Lifes and Interiors, op cit., p. 150).

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Other paintings by Pierre Bonnard:

Boulevard de Clichy
Boulevard de Clichy
Boulevard des Batignolles
Boulevard des Batignolles
Bouquet of Flowers on a Table
Bouquet of Flowers on a Table
Breakfast, Radiator
Breakfast, Radiator
Pierre BonnardPierre Bonnard was a French Post-Impressionist painter remembered for his ability to convey dazzling light with juxtapositions of vibrant color. “What I am after is the first impression—I want to show all one sees on first entering the room—what my eye takes in at first glance,” he said of his work. Born on October 3, 1867 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, Bonnard studied law at the Sorbonne, graduating in 1888. During this time, he was also enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts but left to attend the Académie Julian in 1889. At this more open-minded painting academy, Bonnard met Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier, and Édouard Vuillard, among others. Together with these artists he helped from a group known as the Nabis, who were influenced by Japanese prints and the use of flat areas of color. Early on in his career, Bonnard was better known for his prints and posters than for his paintings. Moving to the South of France in 1910, over the following decades, Bonnard receded from the forefront of the art world, mainly producing tapestry-like paintings of his wife Marthe in their home. Late works of Bonnard, such as The Terrace at Vernonnet (1939), more closely resembled a continuation of Impressionism than other avant-garde styles of the era. Because of this, at the time of his death on January 23, 1947 in Le Cannet, France, the artist’s work had been largely discounted as regressive. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the Tate Gallery in London, among others.