Bondy moved to Berlin in 1900 to study at the Fine Arts Academy and the city provided a supportive environment, particularly as his cousin, Paul Cassirer, was running one the most influential galleries in the country. Cassirer played a critical role in promoting the French Impressionists and post-Impressionists to German collectors and institutions, exerting massive influence towards an embrace of modernism within monarchist Germany. The artist’s records show that Opening the Hat Box was brought to Berlin and exhibited at the Cassirer gallery, where it would have appropriately hung alongside paintings by the French Impressionist artists whose influence on Bondy is evident. Indeed, the intimate domestic space, complicated compositional arrangement and rigorous paint handling recalls works by such avant-garde artists at the time as Édouard Vuillard and Édouard Manet.
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