The rich colors and iridescent surfaces of Bonnard's interior contrast with the plain, two-story house that the artist purchased in 1912, Ma Roulotte (My Caravan). Because of the poor health of his companion, Marthe, they spent increasing amounts of time there, in the valley of the Seine.
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Title:The Dining Room, Vernonnet
Artist:Pierre Bonnard (French, Fontenay-aux-Roses 1867–1947 Le Cannet)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:37 1/2 × 57 1/4 in. (95.3 × 145.4 cm)
Credit Line:Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Bonnard
[Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1916–18; acquired on April 10, 1916 from the artist, stock no. 20.555; sold on March 7, 1918 to Bernheim de Villers]; Gaston Bernheim de Villers, Paris (from 1918); [Sam Salz, New York, until 1949; sold on November 12, 1949, for $15,000, to Gelman]; Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1949–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)
London. Alex Reid & Lefevre, Ltd. "Pierre Bonnard," May 1935, no. 17 (as "La Desserte fleurie," 1915).
Stockholm. Svensk-Franska Konstgalleriet. "Pierre Bonnard," March 1939, no. 18 (as "Fin de journée").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 140).
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 164; as "L'Heure du café [The Dining Room, Vernonnet]").
François Fosca. Bonnard. Geneva, 1919, pl. XV, as "La Salle à manger".
Jean and Henry Dauberville. Bonnard: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Vol. 4, 1940–1947 et Supplément 1887–1939. Paris, 1974, p. 370, no. 02094, ill., call it "L'Heure du café" and date it about 1916.
Sabine Rewald inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 140–41, 294, ill. (color and bw), dates it about 1916; identifies the setting as the dining room of Bonnard's house, "Ma Roulotte" in the village of Vernonnet; notes that it is an imagined scene, since Marthe, the standing figure, was too shy to receive guests; relates it to the picture of the same name from 1925 (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen; D1316).
William S. Lieberman inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 1, fig. 3 (color, installation photo).
Jens-Peter Munk inPierre Bonnard: Das Glück zu malen. Exh. cat., Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Düsseldorf, 1993, pp. 89, 91, fig. 6 [originally published in Danish, "Meddelelser fra Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek," vol. 46, 1990, pp. 71–73, 77, fig. 11], calls it "L'heure du café" and dates it about 1916; discusses this picture among similar compositions from 1909 to 1925.
Judith H. Dobrzynski. "20th Century Art Treasures Are Left to Met." New York Times (May 6, 1998), p. B6, ill.
Laurence Castany. Dans la maison de Bonnard. Paris, 2012, p. 149, ill. pp. 66–67 (color), calls it 'La Salle à manger à Vernon".
A similar painting, The Dining Room, Vernon, about 1925, is in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen (Dauberville 1965–74, no. 1316).
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