PIERRE BONNARD 1867-1947
Portrait of an old man. pierre noir on paper. 31.3x23.7cm.
Private Collection of Zoia and Clem Chambers
Born in Fontenay-aux-Roses. France. Worked and lived in Paris and Le Cannet
Bonnard started drawing and painting while he was in primary school. He painted frequently in the gardens of his parent's country home at Grand-Lemps. He received his baccalaureate in the classics, and, to satisfy his father, earned his license in law, and began practicing as a lawyer. His legal career was not long as he failed in the examination for entering the official registry of lawyers. Art became another option to pursue the professional career.
While he was studying law, he attended art classes at the Académie Julian in Paris. There he met his future friends and fellow artists, Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis, Gabriel Ibels and Paul Ranson.
Same year Bonnard was accepted by the École des Beaux-Arts, where he met Édouard Vuillard and Ker Xavier Roussel.
He sold his first commercial work of art for France-Champagne. It was a design for a poster. Later Bonnard continued working with France-Champagne almost for all his life. He set up his first studio in Paris and began his career as an artist.
Bonnard together with his friends from the Academy Julien created an informal group of artists called Les Nabis. Group of creators with different styles and philosophies but common artistic ambitions.
Pierre had paid lot of attention to decorative art, designing furniture, fabrics, fans and other objects.
In 1895 he became an early participant of the movement of Art Nouveau.
During the years of the First World War, Bonnard concentrated on nudes and portraits. He became a well-regarded artist in the French art establishment, In 1918 together with Renoir he was selected as an honorary President of the Association of Young French Artists.
In In 1925 he purchased a villa in Le Cannet where he spent last years of his life.
Bonnard died on 23 January1947 in Le Cannet