Biography

Bonnard in the garden in Le Grand-Lemps, about 1906
Biography

Pierre Bonnard 1867 - 1947


1867
Pierre Eugène Frédéric Bonnard is born on October 3 at Fontenay-aux-Roses on the southwest periphery of Paris.

1885–88
Studies at the Paris law faculty and attends courses at the Academie Julian. In 1887 is admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

1888
Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier, Henri-Gabriel Ibels, and Paul Ranson — inspired by the art and ideas of Paul Gauguin — form an artists' group, calling themselves the “Nabis” (the Hebrew word for “prophets”). Bonnard will remain affiliated with the group until its dissolution in 1900.

1890
An exhibition of Japanese prints (Exposition de la Gravure japonaise ) impresses him deeply and leaves its mark on his work, causing him to be referred to as “Pierre Bonnard, très japonard.”

1891
Exhibits for the first time at the Salon des Indépendants and is acclaimed for his poster for France-Champagne.

1893
In Montmartre meets the 24-year-old Maria Boursin (1869–1942), who goes by the name of Marthe de Méligny. She becomes his preferred model and his lifelong partner.

1896
In January has his first solo exhibition, at the Galerie Durand-Ruel.

1905–10
Pays several visits to museums in Belgium, The Netherlands, Britain, and Spain, often accompanied by Edouard Vuillard.

1909
First extended stay in the south of France.

1912
Purchases the villa “Ma Roulotte” at Vernonnet, northwest of Paris. Henceforth he will pay regular visits to Claude Monet at nearby Giverny.

1916
In November accepts an invitation from his friends Hedy and Arthur Hahnloser to visit Winterthur, Switzerland, where he contributes fifteen paintings to an exhibition of French art.

1924
A major retrospective, comprising sixty-eight paintings dating from 1897 to 1922, takes place in April at the Galerie Druet.

1925
After thirty years of living together, Bonnard and Marthe marry on August 13.

1926
Buys a villa, which he calls “Le Bosquet,” at Le Cannet.

1934
Stays at several places on the English Channel.

1940
Withdraws to Le Cannet and will not revisit Paris until the end of World War II.

1942
On January 26 Marthe Bonnard dies as a result of her chronic tubercular lung disease.

1944–46
His final years, which see a number of exhibitions and publications devoted to him, are very productive.

1947
Dies of laryngeal tuberculosis at Le Cannet on January 23.

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