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  • Pierre Bonnard
    Oct 03, 1867 - Jan 23, 1947
  • Garden in Vernon or Landscape at the Edge of the Seine - 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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Garden in Vernon or Landscape at the Edge of the Seine
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  • Garden in Vernon or Landscape at the Edge of the Seine

  • Pierre Bonnard
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    circa 1916
    Oil on canvas
    Private Collection, France.

    The subject of this lush, colourful oil is the landscape at Vernon, on the right bank of the river Seine. Bonnard moved to the village of Vernonnet, near Vernon, in 1912, and lived in a small house known as 'Ma Roulotte' until the late 1920s. Vernonnet is situated only a few kilometres west of Giverny, where Monet had lived and worked for nearly thirty years, and the two men became close friends. Unlike Monet, who painted his carefully planned garden, Bonnard was fascinated with the wild nature around the river Seine, and the wild flowers, shrubs and trees in his overgrown garden. He painted a number of views from the large balcony of 'Ma Roulotte', and often ventured down the river where he painted the poplars and willows that lined its banks.

    Jardin à Vernon reflects the artist's fascination with the lush nature of the region, which he transformed into a rich, yet carefully developed composition. The wild trees on the river bank act as a window that reveals the water and the nature beyond it, all rendered in a saturated palette. As James Elliott observed: 'Bonnard was essentially a colorist. He devoted his main creative energies to wedding his sensations of color from nature to those from paint itself – sensations which he said thrilled and even bewildered him. Perceiving color with a highly developed sensitivity, he discovered new and unfamiliar effects from which he selected carefully, yet broadly and audaciously. [...] Whether in narrow range or multitudinous variety, the colors move across the surface of his paintings in constantly shifting interplay, lending an extraordinary fascination to common subjects. Familiar sights – the pervading greenness of a landscape, the intensification of color in objects on a lightly overcast day – are given vivid life' (J. Elliott, in Bonnard and His Environment (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1964, p. 25).

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Other paintings by Pierre Bonnard:

Garden at Vernonnet
Garden at Vernonnet
Garden by the Seine
Garden by the Seine
Garden with Red Tree
Garden with Red Tree
Gardens of Tuileries
Gardens of Tuileries
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.