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Pierre BONNARD

(1867 - 1947)


Pierre BONNARD

French painter, engraver, illustrator and sculptor born 3 October, 1867 in Fontenay-aux-Roses (Hauts-de-Seine) and died, 23 January, 1947 in Le Cannet (Alpes-Maritimes).

Aimé Maeght (1906-1981) was introduced into the world of art by Pierre Bonnard. "Bonnard was the turning point of my life, he has become, little by little, my great friend," he said. And in turn, the artist confided to Thaddeus Natanson: "If I had a son, that's how I would have wanted him to be”. Indeed, it was luck for Aimé Maeght to meet Matisse and Bonnard in Cannes during the war, two geniuses of books who were also two of the most important painters at that time.  In 1932, Aimé Maeght opened his first printing shop, Arte, in Cannes. He met Pierre Bonnard, with whom he formed a solid friendship. The artist became his mentor and so strongly encouraged Aimé to devote himself to art printing that he decided to develop his business and start his publishing house. After the liberation, with the support of Bonnard and Matisse, Aimé Maeght left Cannes and created a gallery in Paris. The Galerie Maeght opened in December 1945 in Paris with the Henri Matisse exhibition and quickly became the meeting place for artists and poets.

"A very curious kind of friendship had formed between Bonnard and me that went beyond the friendship of two men with such an age difference.  For me, Bonnard is The Painter.  In the long discussions I had with him, he was the basis for my development and the opening of my mind to living art. Without Bonnard, I might have continued like the other dealers.

"The Maeght Foundation collection includes L’Eté, 1917 (oil on canvas, 260 x 340 cm). This Mediterranean-inspired composition was initially intended for one of the study rooms for the Winterthur residence of the Hahnlosers, Swiss collectors and friends of the painter. Pierre Bonnard had misunderstood the dimensions for the panel.  The composition was too large and returned to the artist.

L'été
L'été, 1917

Huile sur toile
260 x 340 cm
Don de Marguerite et Aimé Maeght, 1964

Cette composition d’inspiration méditerranéenne était destinée au départ à l’un des cabinets de travail de la résidence de Winterthur du couple Hahnloser, collectionneurs suisses et amis du peintre. Pierre Bonnard s’est mépris sur les dimensions requises pour le panneau. Trop grande, la composition lui est rendue.