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Bonnard in Normandy



From 1st April to 3 July 2011, the painter’s Normandy period is on show at the “Musée des Impressionnismes” in Giverny.

There are paintings and drawings of Normandy landscapes, but also some nudes, interior scenes, decorative paintings and still life scenes.

This is a little-known period for the painter as it is considered to be a transition, but it is nevertheless a very important part of Bonnard’s work.

See the Pierre Bonnard prints.

See the Pierre Bonnard postcards.

See the Pierre Bonnard greeting cards.


A brief biography

Pierre Bonnard was a French post-impressionist painter (1867 - 1947). His works have influenced the story of modern art through their sophisticated composition and unexpected ranges of colour.

Bonnard had the nickname of “nabi japonard” as a result of his support for two artistic groups, the “Nabis” and the “Japonards”. The “Nabis” were a post-impressionist artistic movement that sought to interpret the sacred, the spiritual and the symbolic in their paintings. The Japonist movement stood out for its different view of perspective and space, which is found in the kakemono.

Bonnard was known for having produced timeless works, focusing on moments of daily life: interior scenes (dining rooms, still lives, etc.), landscapes and relationships between interior and exterior, female nudes (of his wife Marthe) and self-portraits.
But behind the simplicity of his themes we find compositions of objects of an astounding complexity and a choice of colours that reveals his talent as a colourist, hence the name of the VDHM exhibition: “Bonnard, the colour magician”.

One of Bonnard’s greatest inspirations was his wife, Marthe. Born Maria Boursin, she called herself Marthe De Meligny. She was his greatest model. He portrayed her in nearly 400 paintings, including the “bathtub” series, an interior theme that was quite innovative for the time.

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