Bonnard was a founding member of a group of artists called the Nabis (Hebrew for “prophet”). Once the group began to disintegrate after 1900, Bonnard found inspiration from the Fauve artists who worked in vibrant color. As seen in the Lehman canvas, Bonnard thus began to experiment with the ornamental and aesthetic potential of color.
The lush green footpath in the foreground defines the receding space of this luminous, mosaic-like landscape. On the left, Bonnard shows an orange-roofed house and behind it what appears to be white, square facades of distant buildings. The surface of the canvas is a patchwork of broken brushstrokes that increase in density in the upper register, stretching into horizontal bands that define the distant horizon. The color is bright and vigorously applied, as Bonnard overlays pigments to create bold, textured patterns through tone.
Signature: Signed (bottom right): Bonnard
Purchased from the artist by the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris; Galerie Pétridès, Paris; Sam Salz, New York; acquired from Sam Salz, New York, by Robert Lehman, New York, 1952.
Artist: Pierre Bonnard (French, Fontenay-aux-Roses 1867–1947 Le Cannet)Date: late 19th–mid-20th centuryMedium: Graphite on thin wove paper; laid down on rice paperAccession: 1998.227On view in:Not on view