Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) Peindre l'Arcadie Musee D'Orsay

Pierre Bonnard Peindre l'Arcadie opens today at Musee D'Orsay through July.

Yesterday I attended the press preview.

Not an easy thing with so many glorious paintings from collections everywhere.

In the old days I would attempt to see 6-8 paintings in a big crowded exhibition. Now I can take them all in. It's impossible.

But I'll do my best to share with you.

For one thing Bonnards do not photograph very well.

The paint and color is so radient, the camera can not catch it in my opinion.

You have to come see these for yourself if you can.

Standing back a bit helps to see the abstractness of Bonnard's designs. He was influenced by Japanese woodblock prints noted for their oblique compositions, wonderful negative/positive shapes, strong patterns and asymmetrical format.

A later self portrait when Bonnard was alone at Le Cannet during the war years. He wrote in his journal, "He who sings is not always happy."

As a young man.

Bonnard hung his canvases on the wall. They were stretched later.
'He always worked on several paintings at once and would let them sit unfinished for a time, so as to assess them with a fresh eye.
He would step back from a work in progress to judge its effect at a distance, and then would remove or add.'
From a terrific book, Bonnard The Coulour of Daily Life, available used on Amazon. I bought it yesterday at the d'Orsay, the only book in English and maybe the best...

Many of the paintings are on a grand scale. The rooms are very large at the d'Orsay.

Has Paris changed that much from Bonnard's time? I don't think so.

His luminous café scene is hard to duplicate.

But I grabbed a quick shot yesterday.

I am a big fan of his intimate still lives. There was a terrific exhibit at the NY Met in 2009 I showed you here.

OK This is a joke. I couldn't resist...shot yesterday too post-Bonnard.

Stepping back helps to see them better. This is a very meaty show.

30% of the paintings may have cats in them. You have been warned. In case you are allergic. All cat lovers book your tickets now!

Charlotte's chestnut chocolate gateau would go nicely here no?

To munch on while browsing though I don't think the d'Orsay will be too thrilled. Watch the crumbs svp.

All good things come to an end.
If you want to see more Bonnard photos - They are on Flickr.
I was starving post-Bonnard. He can do that to you. Fortunately just up the street on rue Bellechasse you can run to boulangerie Gosselin and eat a chestnut éclair.
I did.

40 comments:

  1. I've never heard of this artist ( not unusual for me really). My husband took an amazing picture of Cafe de Flores at night two years ago. I gasped to see it again. And Gosselin, sadly another patisserie that I have only walked past. Eclair Marron. Le sigh.

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  2. Thanks Carol..I was not fammiliar with him.He lived a long life for that period.
    I always wonder which artists would have influenced my mom..Was he one of them?

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  3. Thank you for your post. I was planning to go to one musée in Paris next April and I was thinking of the musée D'Orsay ! I think it is a must see. Maybe after a balade on the canal St-Martin in the morning, we will arrive at the quai d'Orsay. Of course, the pâtisserie will come also after the visit !

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  4. Thank goodness that Paris puts on the éclairs and millefeuilles after the museums, Carol. I adore Pierre Bonnard. Thanks for sharing a sneak peek - must go here soon.

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  5. This is a wonderful post, Carol. Bonnard is one of my favorites, and to see him at the D'Orsay would just be great. So glad you got to, and thanks for sharing with us.

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  6. I hadn't seen many Bonnards till this winter when I went to the Phillips Collection in DC....his colors are so amazing! It's true they don't photograph well but even so, there is so much else to see in your photos of them. Merci!

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    1. Thanks Jeanette
      I felt overwhelmed..not up to it.
      They need to be seen with the human eye for best experience.

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  7. Kathlees9:35 AM

    Wow - always loved Bonnard - when I was in H.S. in NYC in the 60's I did women in baths (pastels) inspired by his works...that would be a wonderful exhibit to see...

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    1. You were Very advanced!
      Wish I even remembered what I did in HS...

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  8. Sandra10:04 AM

    A chestnut eclair! Your efforts are well deserved :)

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  9. What a delight to see all these lovely paintings all in one room. You are right, the camera doesn't do them justice. I was lucky enough to be in his former home in Giverny and see where he painted some of his scenes. The owners sponsor art shows and the public is often invited.

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    1. There were many, many rooms of paintings.

      I didn't know Bonnard had a house in Vernon too.
      Right you are indeed
      http://vernon-visite.org/rgb3/bonnard.shtml

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  10. Fabulous! Makes me want to go to Paris rt. now but I can't go till Oct.

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  11. Carol, thank you so much for this post! Bonnard is one of my favorite painters...the colors are amazing and the wit of his hide and seek pictures (dogs are there, too) brings a smile.

    The Met show was a fine one, but the one at MOMA perhaps in '83 or so was pure joy. At that time, I was having my own little self-funded painting sabatical, and would paint in the morning, have a midday lunch, and then walk down to MOMA to look at the Bonnard exhibit, perhaps stopping at the now-gone Donnell Library across 53 St for a book, before walking home through the Park to do some more painting.

    Carol, those were wonderful days. Of course, every day that we are given has that possibility, does it not? xo

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    1. Loved the Donnell too.
      wonderful art and kids books.

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  12. Love the Bonnard post, so glad that's going to be there in May. I'm teaching a workshop on his color use next week, so have been looking at all those beautiful paintings. I really like the stilllife also.

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  13. Oh Carol, I love this post so so much. Thank you for sharing this wonderful exhibit with us.

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  14. Thanks, Carol, I love the photos and the post. Now I'm going to buy the book.

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  15. Sally1:16 PM

    Thank you for the wonderful photo's.

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  16. Lynne1:20 PM

    How absolutely fabulous ....the cat in painting is a white lilac tipped Siamese..I have two out of my five...those eclairs look so delightful It would be almost hard to eat.

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    1. The eclair looks just like the arched roof in the d'Orsay.
      I was hypnotized!

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  17. Beverly1:28 PM

    He is my favorite!!!! I had his painting of the little girl from the M. of Modern Art in D.C. hanging in my classroom.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Normajean1:30 PM

    After working at the Norton Museum of Art for 12 years and falling in love w Impressionism.....I cried when I first walked into the Musee D'Orsay.......thank you for bringing back wonderful memories.

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  19. It's great fun to see lovely Paris through your lens!

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  20. Kathy1:41 PM

    Always love to get Paris Breakfast in my In Box!

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  21. I am sooooo verrrry envious of your having access to this exhibition of Bonnard's effulgent paintings!
    (I learned that word while studying at the Barnes foundation, many years ago.) Like other commentors, Bonnard is my all time all time absolute favorite painter. Every once in awhile I will go to a teensy gallery in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where small delicious paintings hang of Bonnard and other Vuillard. The magical thing is the museum also has the actual pedestal that is in one of Bonnard paintings, nearby.

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    1. Effulgent. A good adjective for Bonnard, along with radiant, luminous, luxe calm et volupté.
      Thanks Matisse.

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    2. Mostly I was speechless.

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  22. Anonymous4:29 PM

    WOW! I can't believe they allowed you to take photographs. I thought they were absolutely militant about the no photos polcies at the M.D.! Beautiful!

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  23. You really tied that one together nicely :)
    I'm not proud, I'm not familiar with Bonnard's work, or how extensive it is. So, thank you for the education! I'm a fan now!
    Photos of paintings can be tough but you did a great job - they all seem evenly lit and clear to me.
    This will sound screwy, but my favorite photo is the B&W headshot of him as a young man........the paintings are great, and noble accomplishments, but that old photo was my favorite. Go figure......

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    1. Not at all. It's a lovely revealing portrait of Bonnard. It was blown up big on the wall too so they thought it worthy.

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  24. You inspire me to make another Paris trip--would love to go when the museums are not so crowded, and of course, just walk around, my favorite thing to do.

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    1. The best time to go to uncrowded museums is late in the day maybe.
      That's a tough one.

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  25. I'd go just to see those Bonnard cats. I can tell, that guy knew his felines. He "gets" them, their design, their decorativeness, and their humor. It's a wonderful sight to see.

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  26. I fell in love with Bonnard's work when I was a young mademoiselle at the Philip's Gallery in Washington. The softness is what got me. Now I'm even sadder that I won't make it this year (unless some miracle happens.) Like an above noter, I too cried during my first visit to Musée d'orsay, so overwhelmed was I with the magificence. And also, I did get to take photos, just no flash was allowed. Thanks for sharing this, Carol. And yes, you SHOULD go to the Salon du livre, Carpe diem!

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    1. Trying to get there Today Rita!
      I have visa appt on Monday wrecking the annual havoc

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  27. Oh, thank you, Carol, ever so much for this post. Bonnard is one of my favorites, I just wish I could be there to see this show. Will peruse your pictures carefully. I have a framed vintage postcard of one of Bonnard's "bathing scenes" in my bath dressing area where I can look at it all the time. And, I have a couple of lovely books of his paintings, one of which I purchased at the D'Orsay when I was there in 2012.

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  28. Such a fabulous post, Carol! Thank you! Imagine how thrilled I was to see that this same exhibit is coming to San Francisco in February 2016! I can hardly wait. Cheers to you.

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  29. I do love Bonnard's work and I would love to see this one in person. You're right about the luminous colors. And how well they hold up in terms of looking subject-wise as though they were painted yesterday! And as you might expect, I'd be one of the pro-cat people!

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