24
24

PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Pierre Bonnard
NU ASSIS, JAMBE PLIÉE
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Double Dagger
Indicates that the lot is being sold whilst subject to Temporary Importation, and that VAT is due at the reduced rate
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 615,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
24

PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Pierre Bonnard
NU ASSIS, JAMBE PLIÉE
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Double Dagger
Indicates that the lot is being sold whilst subject to Temporary Importation, and that VAT is due at the reduced rate
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 615,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
London

Pierre Bonnard
1867 - 1947
NU ASSIS, JAMBE PLIÉE
stamped Bonnard (upper left)
oil on canvas
122 by 66cm.
48 by 26in.
Painted circa 1909.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Estate of the artist

Galerie Wildenstein, Paris (acquired from the above circa 1947)

Private Collection, Germany

Private Collection (acquired by the 1970s)

Thence by descent to the present owner

Literature

Jean & Henry Dauberville, Bonnard. Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Paris, 1974, vol. IV, no. 01964, illustrated p. 294

Catalogue Note

In Nu assis, jambe pliée Bonnard depicts Marthe, his longtime companion and muse who inspired a majority of his paintings of nudes in an interior setting. Here the model is presented in full view, with her leg extending beyond the picture plane. Like Degas, who radically cropped his images of bathers in a manner resembling Japanese prints, Bonnard employs a similar method of establishing the boundary between the viewer and the figure. With this pictorial device he encourages the observer to imagine the domestic space beyond the scope of the canvas. There was a fine line between openness and vulnerability that was inherent in these compositions of nudes, and here Bonnard's careful attention to the arrangement of space ensures the delicate balance of the two.

The model is captured here in a personal moment and appears to be deeply absorbed in her thoughts. Despite the impressive scale of this work, Bonnard retains the warm, personal atmosphere of his intimiste paintings, portraying his muse indulging in a private moment. At the same time, he takes pleasure in depicting her nude figure in its full glory, lit by the warm light coming from an invisible source. Bonnard treated her skin as if depicting a landscape, creating a dramatic contrast between those parts exposed to light, like her legs and shoulder, and the parts in the shadow, including her face.

  Discussing Bonnard's portrayals of Marthe, Sarah Whitfield wrote: 'Marthe is almost always seen in her own domestic surroundings, and as an integral part of those surroundings. [...] In a sense many of these works are variations on the theme of the artist and his model as well as on the double portrait. This is the case even when Bonnard is not visible. [...] We are always made acutely aware that whatever the subject of the painting – a nude, a still life, a landscape – what we are being asked to witness (and to participate in) is the process of looking. But it is in the paintings of Marthe above all that we find Bonnard portraying himself as the ever-attentive, watchful presence' (S. Whitfield, 'Fragments of Identical World', in Bonnard (exhibition catalogue), Tate Gallery, London, 1998, p. 17).

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
London