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Pierre Bonnard, Dining Room In The Country

October 8, 2015 through May 2016Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA

An extraordinary loan from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, this work represents Pierre Bonnard's dining room, along with his wife and cats, at his country house in Vernonnet, a small town outside of Paris on the Seine River. Rather than painting from life, Bonnard created the work entirely from memory, foregrounding his subjective responses over an optical experience of the interior and landscape.

For more information about this exhibit, please click here.

About Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard was a French painter and printmaker from the post-impressionist movement and a founding member of the avant-garde group Les Nabis. When he enrolled in a Parisian art school in 1897, he met Paul Serusier, Mauris Denis, Henri Ibels, and Paul Ransom. The five friends, all of similar artistic inclination, joined together to form this group of post-impressionist painters. 

The first exhibition of his works was in 1891, at the Salon des Independants, and the first exhibition of the work of the Nabis in the same year. In addition to paintings, Bonnard experimented with a wide variety of media, producing furniture and textile designs, puppets for puppet shows, painted screens, stage sets, and illustrated books. After 1900, he began spending more time in the countryside between Normandy and Paris, producing a great number of landscapes. In 1906, Bonnard began his annual one-man exhibitions at an art firm that had exclusive rights to his works, which were traditionally impressionistic, despite the enhanced color palette he implemented.

Before the beginning of World War I, Bonnard traveled extensively throughout Europe and North Africa, although his paintings were not indicative of his experiences there, or during the war. Later, he was commissioned to paint the French Pavilion at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris. He finished his last painting, The Almond Tree in Flower, only a week before his death in 1947.