134
134

THE COLLECTION OF MAMDOUHA & ELMER HOLMES BOBST

Pierre Bonnard
LA PLACE CLICHY
Estimate
400,000600,000
JUMP TO LOT
134

THE COLLECTION OF MAMDOUHA & ELMER HOLMES BOBST

Pierre Bonnard
LA PLACE CLICHY
Estimate
400,000600,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York

Pierre Bonnard
1867 - 1947
LA PLACE CLICHY
Signed Bonnard (lower right)
Oil on board laid down on cradled panel
20 3/4 by 26 3/8 in.
52.8 by 67.4 cm
Painted circa 1900.
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Provenance

Sale: Palais Galliéra, Paris, June 10, 1963, lot 12
Paul Pétridès, Paris
Acquired from the above in May 1965

Literature

Jean & Henry Dauberville, Bonnard, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, 1940-47 et Supplément 1887-1939, vol. IV, Paris, 1974, no. 01809, illustrated p. 191

Catalogue Note

Bonnard’s La Place Clichy depicts a busy Parisian square near Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement, which was a popular artists’ quarter in the early twentieth century. Bonnard and his fellow artist Édouard Vuillard, who lived nearby, took joy in observing and painting the crowded streets around Place Clichy and the bohemian lifestyle of its inhabitants. The present composition is dominated by the elegantly dressed ladies in the foreground, talking as they stroll down the street. The image here presents a radically modern approach, shifting the focus away from the center of the composition, towards two figural groups in the foreground. The positioning of the figures, as if leaving the scope of the picture, suggest a chance momentary glimpse, rather than a carefully staged ensemble. It is this nonchalance of composition that makes this one of Bonnard’s more accomplished street scenes.

In the autumn of 1899 the artist rented a studio and apartment at 65 rue de Douai, near Place Clichy and Place Pigalle, with a view towards Montmartre. Charles Terrasse later recalled Bonnard’s studio: "There were canvases. Easels all around, and in an angle a small table where one would have lunch. The balcony was a place that was particularly attractive. From there one could see so many things. A whole world. The street below was bustling… agitated like a sea" (Charles Terrasse, quoted in Pierre Bonnard: Early and Late (exhibition catalogue), The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., 2003, p. 33).  

Bonnard shared his fascination with the city with a number of Impressionist and post-Impressionist artists, and in choosing this subject matter he drew on the tradition of depicting the busy streets and cafés of the French capital. Gustave Caillebotte, Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro all executed a number of works depicting Parisian boulevards, squares and bridges, usually characterized by a sense of rich and varied life of the city. Gustave Geffroy commented: "no-one is quicker than Bonnard to seize the look of our Parisian streets, the silhouettes of a passer-by and the patch of colour which stands out in the Metropolitan mist. [He] seizes on all the momentary phenomena of the street, even the most fugitive glances are caught and set down" (Gustave Geffroy, quoted in Pierre Bonnard (exhibition catalogue), Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1996, p. 16).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York