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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Painting of the Month (11) November 2010: Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonard, Dining Room in the Country (1913)

I love the paintings of Pierre Bonnard. They radiate a sense of domestic bliss in sumptous colours. This is also the reason why some critics, while enjoying his work, place it only in the second rank of great paintings. But I don't care what critics think; these paintings make me feel good to contemplate them. He painted his wife many times in what has been described as a 'post-coital' situation. However I still see an innocent charm even in those pictures. (See below)
I think we should make our own minds up what we enjoy in works of art and not necessarily pay obesiance to high-minded critics!


David said...

Dear bazza,
I'm not familiar with this artist, but I like the paintings you have shown here.
I thoroughly agree that we should make our own minds up about what we like when it comes to art. I used to take way too much notice of what critics said about films, now I just watch what I enjoy and get a lot more out of the experience that way.
Thanks for another mind-expanding post, bazza.
Yours with Very Best Wishes,

bazza said...

Hi David. Love the new look on your blog!
Thanks for visiting. I agree this applies to films too!

THE SNEE said...

Hi Bazza,
Some of my favorite posts are your paintings of the month. I personally love Pierre Bonnard. I'm not sure what it says about me as a judge of art, but admittedly, I often like artists who are deemed "second rate" by critics. Thank goodness, it's a matter of opinion, not fact! The first painting is especially inviting, and since it's November in New England, sumptuous color, and radiant light sound oh... so... GOOD! I'm there with David, my mind is expanded, but so also is my mood! Yay Bazza!

bazza said...

Snee, the: Hi. That is such a lovely response. Makes me feel glad I posted this! If you are interested there is lots of his stuff on the net, of course.

John Saunders said...

Hi bazza! Pardon my ignorance, but I have previously been unaware of the artist, but these paintings are visualy stunning! Thankyou for improving my somewhat limited knowledge of artists!
Follow me @ Hedgeland Tales
(You know you want to!)

Kate said...

Found you from the Dona Nobis Pacem. I love your site. I’m going to poke around a little bit, but don’t worry I’ll put everything back where I found it!!

bazza said...

John: There's nothing to pardon; I'm learning more about birds at your blog! Thanks for looking in.

Kate: Hello and welcome. I didn't create a Peace Globe this year. Maybe Mimi has used an earlier one. Although I support the notion I became a bit bored with the whole Peace Globe movement. Sorry!
I will pop across to your blog later.

klahanie said...

Hi bazza,
I like the paintings of Pierre Bonard, very much. You have described his work in a way I can relate too. Those 'sumptous' colours radiate a warmth I find most pleasing. And critics, I've never paid heed to them. Like you note, we should make up our minds. If you like it, you like it.
All the best.
Kind wishes, Gary

joanne said...

i couldn't agree more about art and criticism, but that could just be because i've yet to really meet a painting i couldn't find something about it that made me feel or think or react...and also because if i relied on judgments of my own art (or writing or photography for that matter) there wouldn't be any reason for someone like me to paint at all... and what a sad thing that would be for me personally... something i love to do so incredibly much... regardless of the value of it to anyone else, just feeling paint moving across a piece of paper is value enough for me.

anyway, i digress... i LOVE this artwork... i love the vibrancy and the joy to be found in the simplicity of living... i love how i want nothing more right now than to sit in that chair and pass the time with the person in the window, eat a few cookies together, and look out over a meadow... and just shoot the breeze.

i am thankful that Pierre Bonnard painted whatever he felt like painting, including his wife in whatever position he wanted to paint her.

and i love that you introduce me to artists and musicians and bloggers and writers and multitudes of other fascinating things that enrich me every time i come here...

thank you for doing that :)

bazza said...

Gary: Excellent reponse, just what I hoped people would say (although, as you know, I'm happy for them to disagree too).
Thanks, Gary.

joanne: The enrichment is a two-way process. You have nicely extended my remarks and opened them out into a personal response; that's wonderful! Thank you.

Kelly said...

I like how the sun hits the door in the first painting.

Rob said...

I like Bonnard too.

My parents had a print of a Bonnard painting. I remember looking at it when I was a was of a room with an open window.

Years later I had a girlfriend whose favourite painting in the Ashmolean was a Bonnard nude.

Kate said...


bazza said...

Kelly: Yes, I've seen this picture in an exhibition and that effect is stunning on a large scale.

Rob: That's probably his most famous image. In fact there are several pictures which show a similar image which is what first attracted me to this artist twenty years ago. It could be this one.

Kate: I take that as a agreement with my sentiments?

joanne fox said...

The colours in that top painting really glow. I'd love to be in that room, with the warmth of the sun pouring into the cosy interior.

Does anyone really take notice of critics? Half the time they're out of touch with what real people like anyway!

bazza said...

joanne fox: As Joanne (without the fox!) says so well, above, one yearns to be in that time and place. It's agreat gift for an artist to be able to convey that desire.
As for critics, that's a difficult question. I think someone must listen to them because they certainly continue to get paid for they say and I think we must allow that they do have some influence but it is disproprtionate.
Many people don't have confidence in their own opinion about all sorts of artistic (and other) output and prefer to be 'led' in their thinking.

The Fabulous Sir Tom Eagerly: said...

Bazza, why would an artist paint a post coital situation? I think a depiction of events twenty minuters earlier would be more appealing.Chin Chin, old boy!

bazza said...

The Fabulous Sir Tom: You dirty, dirty boy!
Don't pour so much whisky on your cornflakes in future.