French Painter and Printmaker
(October 03, 1867 - January 23, 1947)
Pierre Bonnard was the son of a prominent official in the French Ministry of War. Like Hermann-Paul, his father had charted for him a traditional path toward success. He studied law and graduated. For a brief period, he served as a practicing barrister. But Bonnard had hedged his bets and studied fine arts as he attended law school. In Belle Époque Paris, law was no match for art. Bonnard was soon an ex-barrister.
In the early 1890s, he met Toulouse-Lautrec and fell under his influence. Bonnard began to exhibit his work at the annual Société des Artistes Indépendants. It was at this time that he met Hermann-Paul.
By their mid-twenties, Hermann-Paul and Pierre Bonnard were part of a post-impressionist group of artists known as Les Nabis. The group was largely formed by students of Rodolphe Julian who shared similar tastes in art and literature. If we could find one trait in common, it was mostly an admiration for Cezanne. In time, the group began to splinter and its members went their separate ways. In 1910, Bonnard left Paris for the south of France.
Since 1998, there have been several major retrospectives of Bonnard's work. He was featured at the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art and, most recently, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.