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  • Pierre Bonnard
    Oct 03, 1867 - Jan 23, 1947
  • Young Woman, Blue-green Dress - 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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Young Woman, Blue-green Dress
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  • Young Woman, Blue-green Dress

  • Pierre Bonnard
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    circa 1903
    Oil on canvas
    Private Collection, France.

    Painted circa 1903, Jeune femme, robe bleu-vert explores two themes central to Bonnard's practice: the intimate moments of everyday life and portraiture. Additionally, it marks the moment after Bonnard’s involvement with the Nabis, a group of artists and close friends who explored a subjective art that was deeply rooted in the soul of the artist. For Bonnard, his artistic soul was an extension of his perception, painting from memory rather than life. Through his practice, he would not simply capture the object, but also its essence. By the time he was done with a painting, the freshness of a scene would have long passed and transformed into a hazy memory.

    In Jeune femme, robe bleu-vert, Bonnard captures what one sees when suddenly entering a room: a flood of light or an unexpected guest, maybe even both. The young girl’s distant gaze is oblique, forcing the viewer to not only study her closely, but to create a narrative around her. By doing so, Bonnard’s art makes the viewer experience both what he sees and, more importantly, what he does not see: the essence of the moment.

    To achieve a feeling of immediacy in his painting, Bonnard looked to photography for inspiration. He foreshortened, cropped, and lit the sitter in a way that pushes her to the foreground, capturing a snapshot of the moment. For the artist, “the foreground…gives a concept of the world as seen through the human eyes, of a world of undulations, convex or concave” (quoted in Pierre Bonnard: The Late Still Lifes and Interiors (exhibition catalogue), New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 12). In this way, Jeune femme, robe bleu-vert foreshadows Bonnard’s experimental interest in space and search for a spatial link between two realms: that of the canvas and that of reality.

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Other paintings by Pierre Bonnard:

Young Woman near Lamp
Young Woman near Lamp
Young Woman Sitting
Young Woman Sitting
Young Women in the Garden
Young Women in the Garden
Young Womwn in an Interior
Young Womwn in an Interior
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.