Bonnard is known for his intense use of color, especially in areas with swift, small brush strokes and close values. Here, Bonnard employed a palette composed mostly of orange, blue, and lavender to convey intimate subtleties of the female form illuminated by an indistinct light source. The viewer encounters the seated nude from a level perspective, or perhaps slightly below. By resting her weight behind her on her right hand, she gently thrusts her shoulder upward, while her faintly arching back pushes her breasts forward. Her downward face shifts her hair to shield her eyes.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Bonnard
[Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, ca. 1919–probably at least 1934 ]; Madame Nathan, Paris; Mr. and Mrs. Leon H. and Eugenie Fromer, New York (from mid–1950s); Mrs. Eugenie Fromer, New York (until d. 2012; her bequest to MMA)
Pittsburgh. Carnegie Institute. "Twenty-Ninth Annual International Exhibition of Paintings," October 16–December 7, 1930, no. 212 (as "Nude Woman Seated," lent by Messrs. Bernheim Jeune).
Paris. Galerie Beaux-Arts. "Gauguin, ses amis: l'École de Pont-Aven et l'Académie Julian," February–March 1934 (probably one of nos. 21–25, Peintures, lent by MM. Bernheim jeune).
Paris. Galerie de L'Élysée. "Impressionnistes et contemporains dans un cadre ancien," 1952, no catalogue.
François Fosca. Bonnard. Geneva, 1919, cover ill.
Jean and Henry Dauberville. Bonnard: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Vol. 2, 1906–1919. Paris, 1968, p. 452, no. 967, ill.