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  • Pierre Bonnard
    Oct 03, 1867 - Jan 23, 1947
  • Cabanons au Cannet - 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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Cabanons au Cannet
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  • Cabanons au Cannet

  • Pierre Bonnard
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  • 1933
    Oil on canvas
    26 3/4 x 37in.

    The present work depicts a view near Bonnard’s house Le Bosquet at Le Cannet, and is a wonderful example of the rich nature and captivating light of the south of France that provided an important source of inspiration for the artist. Situated above Cannes on the C?te d’Azur, Le Bosquet was surrounded by lush vegetation that could be seen from the house. Both the villa and the town itself offered the artist a wide array of subjects to paint, resulting in powerful, boldly coloured compositions. As J?rg Zutter wrote: ‘By 1931 Le Bosquet was Bonnard’s favourite place to work and in 1939 it became the couple’s permanent home. The house and its surroundings provided an ideal work environment for the artist, who continued to paint studies of Marthe, often standing in the bathroom or lying in the tub. He also painted still lifes, self-portraits, interiors and the views onto the countryside from different windows and doors’ (J. Zutter in Pierre Bonnard: Observing Nature (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2003, p. 61).

    Belinda Thomson wrote about the present work: ‘The freedom of handling and colourful overall design of this painting at first obscure its very precise notation of the working landscape above Villa du Bosquet. Each of the sheds Bonnard features no doubt belonged to a peasant farmer, one of whom is seen tending his vines in the foreground. The rough stone wall shoring up the bank in the left foreground is probably a section of terracing, the traditional method by which the hilly terrain of the Mediterranean was cultivated’ (B. Thomson in Bonnard at Le Bosquet (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., p. 64).

    For over three decades, Cabanons au Cannet formed part of the collection of Illa Kodicek (1899-1990), adorning her house in Walton-on-Thames and a small apartment in London’s Mayfair. Born in Budapest, Kovacek later moved to Prague with her first husband, a Viennese businessman. During her second marriage to the Czech writer and theatre critic Josef Kodicek, she ran a salon attended by distinguished artists and writers. Having fled Prague in 1938, the Kodiceks settled in London, where Illa ran a successful corsetry shop, and in the 1950s and early 1960s regularly visited a number of now-legendary galleries, acquiring works and establishing herself as a well known figure in London's artistic circles. Her collection, including the present painting alongside works by Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Picabia, Klein and Bacon, as well as Oriental art, tribal art and antiquities, was sold in a series of auctions in 1993.

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Other paintings by Pierre Bonnard:

Bunch of Mimosa
Bunch of Mimosa
By the Sea, Under the Pines
By the Sea, Under the Pines
Cannet Landscape
Cannet Landscape
Carafe, Marthe Bonnard with Her Dog
Carafe, Marthe Bonnard with Her Dog
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.