143
143

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Pierre Bonnard
FEMME DANS UN INTÉRIEUR
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 266,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
143

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Pierre Bonnard
FEMME DANS UN INTÉRIEUR
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 266,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Pierre Bonnard
1867 - 1947
FEMME DANS UN INTÉRIEUR
Signed Bonnard (lower left)
Oil on canvas
19 1/8 by 18 1/8 in.
48.6 by 46 cm
Painted circa 1903.
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Provenance

Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired from the artist)
Fayet Collection, Paris
Galerie Druet, Paris
Pierre Loeb, Paris
Maurice Ingram, London
Redfern Gallery, London
Fairfax Hall, Esq. (acquired from the above in 1938 and sold from the estate: Christie’s, London, June 29, 1981, lot 17)
Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Druet, Bonnard 1891 à 1922, 1924
London, Redfern Gallery, Summer Exhibition, 1937, no. 7
Cape Town, National Gallery, 1959, no. 5
London, Royal Academy of Arts, Pierre Bonnard, 1966, no. 79

Literature

Jean & Henry Dauberville, Bonnard, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, 1888-1905, vol. I, Paris, 1992, no. 280, illustrated p. 268

Catalogue Note

Femme dans un intérieur is a fascinating example of Pierre Bonnard’s domestic interiors. The theme of la vie bourgeoise preoccupied the artist from the time of his earlier intimiste scenes of the 1890s until the end of his career. Shortly before painting this composition, Bonnard had travelled extensively in Northern and Southern Europe with various companions including Édouard Vuillard, with whom he travelled to both Italy and Spain (see fig. 1). These trips coincided with a new annual schedule in which Bonnard spent an increasing amount of time outside Paris, and it was on these trips outside urban centers that he developed, from his earlier Nabis style, an interest in Impressionism. Femme dans un interior, while representing the artist’s interest in intimiste scenes, shows a stylistic evolution away from the flat planes of the Japanese woodblock print.

While his style at this time shifted considerably and later would evolve further with his dramatic use of bright color, his interest in painting his surroundings never changed. Bonnard was famously private, yet his personal world was publically exhibited in his art. Sarah Whitfield remarks on the intensely personal nature of his paintings: “Yet, from the start, this modest and most discreet of men, this least public of artists made his daily life the subject of his art, observing steadily and calmly everything that was closest to him: his family, his surroundings, his companion, his animals, ‘I have all my subjects to hand,’ he said, ‘I go and look at them. I take notes. Then I go home. And before I start painting I reflect, I dream...' There is a feeling of closeness, of people living together, quietly going about the mundane household tasks, sitting down to meals together. The moments he chooses to paint are the soothing lulls that punctuate a domestic routine. These are intensely private pictures; as Raymond Cogniat observed: ‘Bonnard never paints the parts of the house where people work or receive visitors’” (quoted in Bonnard (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York & The Tate Gallery, London, 1998, pp. 9-10).

As is the case for many of Bonnard’s best interior scenes, this picture requires the viewer to take time to look at the composition and make sense of the spatial relationships among its elements. Bonnard once said that he intended for his pictures "to show what one sees when one enters a room all of a sudden," and the present picture exemplifies this objective. Jean Clair wrote of the experience of looking at Bonnard's paintings, asserting that the artist intended "to paint the feeling of 'visual entirety' that one experiences on entering a room, before one has recognized, distinguished, brought into focus and identified the various details...the revolution in painting, brought about by Bonnard was that, for the first time, a painter attempted to translate onto canvas the data of a vision that is physiologically 'real...' He was the first artist to have attempted to portray on canvas the integrality of the field of vision and so bring nearer to the eye what classical perspective had kept at a distance" (ibid, p. 33).

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