Bonnard (World of Art) Paperback – 2 Feb 1998
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'Handsomely produced, good value and authoritative.' (Modern Painters) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) is acknowledged as one of the great masters of twentieth-century painting. Best-known as a painter of intimate, domestic interiors, he was also a highly accomplished draughtsman and graphic artist who produced a wealth of drawings and lithographs. In fact Bonnard began his career as a graphic artist, producing posters and illustrations for such magazines as La Revue Blanche. Associated with Maurice Denis, Edouard Vuillard and other members of the Nabis group from 1890, his early work is characterized by a tendency towards broad, flat colour and asymmetrical composition derived from Gauguin and from Japanese prints. From 1900 his palette became richer and his subject-matter settled into a range of obsessive themes - principally landscapes, nudes and interiors - in which he explored ever more complex formal problems and developed an unparalleled mastery of colour and light. His mature work achieves a level of dazzling intensity which has ensured his enduring reputation as one of the twentieth century's great colourists. In this important reassessment of Bonnard's life and work, Nicholas Watkins argues that Bonnard was not a sentimental survivor of impressionism as some have claimed, but a highly demanding and innovative artist responding to new formal challenges. Paintings, graphic work and sketches are comprehensively reproduced and examined in depth, providing a definitive study of this highly influential but frequently misunderstood artist. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Because of his longevity it's often overlooked that Bonnard was a contemporary of Toulouse-Lautrec and that he had a hand in the print-making and book illustrations that characterised the 1890`s; as a member of Les Nabis, he and Vuillard became a kind of sub-set of the group known as “intimiste” painters, their work characterised by their domestic interiors, still-lifes and close-value brush strokes of vivid colour.
Bonnard developed an approach to painting from memory using small drawings and occasionally photographs – a technique that enabled a more imaginative, personal realisation of his subjects.
Picasso didn't understand him – so it's nice to know that the great Pablo was fallible – for me, Bonnard is one of the most important painters of the last century and has much to teach painters in this one.
Watkins` book presents a fairly good, comprehensive biography and study of the artist, but it is the illustrations you'll buy this for. There are 130 colour and 40 black and white illustrations of varying sizes, though most are quite large; the colour reproduction isn't perfect – I've seen better in older and more expensive books, but given how difficult it is to reproduce Bonnard`s glowing paintings with any accuracy, these are fairly acceptable. It is certainly one of the best and most inclusive English language books readily available on the artist.
This is a book I've used not just for myself but as a reference for teaching; it is a lovely volume to look through and a fine introduction for anyone new to this wonderful, inspired and inspiring master.
* Please note; this review is for the Phaidon monograph by Nicholas Watkins – Amazon have grouped reviews for different books together on this page.