Pierre Bonnard: Landscapes from Le Cannet features 24 selected works on loan from the collection of the Musée Bonnard in France. It includes 17 drawings, 6 paintings and a lithograph that were created late in the artist’s career. Primarily focusing on Bonnard’s landscapes, this exhibition celebrates his vision of Le Cannet—which is notable not only as Bonnard’s home, but is uniquely distinguished as Lafayette’s sister city in France. The Hilliard Museum is the exclusive venue for this exhibition.
In the last decade of his life, artist Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), moved to Le Cannet, a city he had visited many times throughout his life in France. Inspired by the brilliant quality of light in the French Riviera, Bonnard who is often recognized for his paintings of interiors, turned to the landscape producing numerous sketches and paintings of the nature that surrounded him.
Pierre Bonnard was born in 1867 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, a suburb of Paris. While he began to study law in 1886, he enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts in 1887 to become a painter. With his colleagues, Maurice Denis and Paul Serusier, Bonnard was inspired by Paul Gauguin’s Symbolist approach to painting in which color took on a spiritual rather than descriptive quality. Together, these painters came to be known as the “Nabis,” a Hebrew word for prophet. Abandoning traditional perspective, the Nabis embraced flat planes of color, lyrical line quality, texture, and patterns inspired in part by Japanese prints that were popular at the time.
In 1891, Bonnard exhibited at the Salon des Independants, and in 1896 his first solo show was presented at Galerie Durand-Ruel. In 1912 he purchased a villa in Vernonnet in the Normandy region of France where he lived with his life-long partner and muse, Marthe, and made frequent visits to Giverny to visit Claude Monet.
In 1926 Bonnard purchased a villa in Le Cannet that he called “Le Bosquet,” or the grove. This became his primary home and studio during the last decade of his life, and the inspiration for the works in this exhibition.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether or not you go, and older publication, Bonnard at Le Cannet (1988) considers his recollections, accompanied by related drawings and paintings, and photographs of Bonnard and his studio taken in 1945. It also includes colour illustrations of "Le Bosquet" today, a list of paintings executed there and reproductions of pages from the artist's diaries.
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