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.