367
367

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION

Pierre Bonnard
ARBRES EN FLEURS, MAISON BLANCHE
JUMP TO LOT
367

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION

Pierre Bonnard
ARBRES EN FLEURS, MAISON BLANCHE
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Pierre Bonnard
1867 - 1947
ARBRES EN FLEURS, MAISON BLANCHE
stamped Bonnard (lower left)
oil on canvas
37.3 by 47.3cm., 14 5/8 by 18 5/8 in.
Painted circa 1909.
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Provenance

Estate of the Artist
Wildenstein & Co., New York
Roy F. Huffington, Houston (acquired from the above in October 1985; sale: Christie's, New York, 4th November 2010, lot 301)
Private Collection (purchased at the above sale; sale: Christie's, New York, 13th November 2015, lot 1400)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Literature

Jean & Henry Dauberville, Bonnard, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Paris, 1974, vol. IV, no. 01950, illustrated p. 285

Catalogue Note

In the last decade of the nineteenth century, Bonnard sought inspiration in the day-to-day life of the Parisian bourgeoisie. He and his Nabis colleagues employed these settings—cafés, theatres, and the like—to explore the concept and psyche of the modern city-dweller. After the turn of the century, however, Bonnard’s work began to increasingly favour more rural motifs, focusing in particular on the landscape of the countryside, as seen in the present work. It was around this time that he began to rent a summer house in the Seine valley north of Paris. The move was in part precipitated by his companion, Marthe, who disapproved of the constant social gatherings with Bonnard’s compatriots and sought seclusion.

Light and modulated colour are core elements of Arbres en fleurs, maison blanche. The composition demonstrates Bonnard’s inherited artistic affinity with the Impressionist style; the lively brushstrokes evoke Monet’s landscapes. Yet, Jean-Louis Prat notes: 'Bonnard always developed his own visual language, firmly rooted in reality. He did not, like Monet, virtually do away with the subject itself. He always used forms, without experimenting with abstraction, or even contemplating it' (Jean-Louis Prat, 'Pierre Bonnard or An Enduring Painter', in Bonnard (exhibition catalogue), Foundation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 1999, p. 19). This work precedes the final stage in Bonnard’s artistic maturation to a post-impressionist rejection of traditional perspective. Reflecting on his career in 1935, Bonnard stated: 'I have become a painter of landscapes, not because I have painted landscapes—I have done only a few—but because I have acquired the soul of a landscape painter insofar as I have been able to free myself of everything picturesque, aesthetical or any other convention that has been poisoning me' (quoted in Antoine Terrasse, 'Some Thoughts on Pierre Bonnard', in Bonnard (exhibition catalogue), Galerie Salis, Salzburg, 1991, n.p.).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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