Jean & Henry Dauberville, Bonnard, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, 1906-1919, vol. II, Paris, 1968, no. 851, illustrated p. 371
Painted in 1916, Paysage au soleil couchant is an intimate work that is part of the group of paintings produced by Bonnard in the South of France. In 1910, he was struck by the beauty of meridional light. Antoine Terrasse wrote: “It is a decisive date, he discovered the light of Provence. One can best see his amazement in the three panels entitled Méditerranée that he made for Yvan Morosoff, exhibited in May 1911 at the Bernheim Gallery. He experienced that transparency of the air that leaves all brightness of colour intact, enlivens the red of the rocks, all the blues of the sea; he drank in the perfume of resin and flowers… His colours were already light, henceforth they will always be strong and warm, even his shadows will be intensely coloured.” (in Bonnard, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, Volume II, 1906-1919, Paris, 1968, p.19). During the war, Bonnard was part of the group of artists who had received the order to paint the conflict and he made several trips to the Mediterranean. With its nuances of blue and green against a horizon where a setting sun glows yellow, this painting is the perfect demonstration of Bonnard’s talents as a colorist and of his vision of the world.
The canvas is not lined. There is a small thin line of surface abrasion (appro. 1.5 cm long) with associated flecks of retouching to the left part of the upper edge. Examination under UV light also reveals a small diagonal line of retouching (approx. 0.5 cm) towards the centre of the upper edge, some dots of retouching to the yellow pigment to the centre of the right edge and a few further tiny dots of retouching to the sky. There are some faint vertical lines of craquellure to the upper half of the composition. This work is in overall very good condition. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."