New Exhibition - From 6 October 2016 to 15 January 2017 - Pierre Bonnard - Radiant Colour

QUÉBEC CITY, 5 Oct. 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Organized and co-produced by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) and Arthemesia Group (Italy), Pierre Bonnard. Radiant Colour, an exhibition devoted to the uncontested master of modern art Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), will be on view at the MNBAQ from October 6, 2016 to January 15, 2017. Presented by Desjardins, this first international exhibition in the temporary exhibition galleries of the Pierre Lassonde pavilion, which opened its doors in June 2016, will highlight the work of this French painter, engraver and poster artist, a founding member of the Nabis avant-garde movement who is widely known for the originality of his brilliant compositions and his unusual handling of the paint.

Curated by Jacqueline Munck, chief curator of artistic heritage at the Musée d'art moderne in Paris, the exhibition brings together some forty paintings along with a wide selection of prints and photographs. The artworks come from several prestigious European and North American museums and collections, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Musée Bonnard, Le Cannet (Côte d'Azur), the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Musée d'Orsay (Paris), to name just a few.

The exhibition traces Bonnard's fascinating career, from the 1890s to the 1940s, taking up several themes in turn: life in Paris, domestic interiors, female nudes, gardens and landscapes in Normandy and the Côte d'Azur, and self-portraits of a rare intensity.

Thanks to an inventive exhibition design, the work of the set designer Guillaume Lord, visitors will be able to truly plunge into the artist's creative process and private world, including a long sequence of works devoted to his companion Marthe, a constant subject of his work for nearly fifty years. The exhibition will enable visitors to better understand Bonnard's life and the deeply personal quality of his work, developed in an atmosphere of subjectivity and sensation, a profoundly lyrical world which testifies to Bonnard's extraordinary sensibility. Throughout his life, he strove to alter reality, once declaring that "the object is not to paint life, but to make painting come alive."

This remarkable survey at the heart of the oeuvre of a major European artist of the first half of the twentieth century will be accompanied by a film by Aimé and Adrien Maeght made between 1937 and 1946. This short film shows Bonnard in the garden of his home in Normandy, on the Midi beach at Cannes and while sailing off the coast of the Côte d'Azur.

Pierre Bonnard, time line


Pierre Bonnard is born on October 3 in Fontenay-aux-Roses (Hauts-de-Seine).


Studies law.


At Académie Julian, makes the acquaintance of Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis and Paul Ranson, with whom he founds the Nabis in 1888. At the École des beaux-arts de Paris, he meets Ker-Xavier Roussel and Édouard Vuillard.


First showing at the Salon des indépendants, where his work would figure regularly.


Meets Maria Boursin (1869-1942), who went by the name Marthe, and who became his companion and model.


First solo exhibition, at Galerie Durand-Ruel, in Paris.


Paints naturalistic nudes, urbanscapes and personal scenes. Takes a series of photographs of Marthe at the family home at Grand-Lemps, in Isère.


Ambroise Vollard publishes Paul Verlaine's Parallèlement, illustrated by Bonnard.


Is part of the Vienna Secession, the Berlin Secession and the first Salon d'automne.


Creates La Méditerranée triptych, commissioned by Russian collector Ivan Morozov for the grand staircase at his home.


Buys Ma Roulotte villa in Vernon, Normandy. Monet is his neighbour.


Exhibits at the Armory Show in New York City and at the Art Institute of Chicago.


In May, is part of the fourth mission of war artists to the Somme front.


Paints a series of large-scale landscapes seen from terraces. Bonnard and  Renoir are the honorary chairs of the Jeune Peinture française group.


François Fosca and Léon Werth publish two studies on Bonnard.


Due to Marthe's health, the couple visits spas regularly.


Retrospective consisting of 68 paintings at Galerie Druet, in Paris.


Marries Marthe. Begins his famous series of nudes bathing.


Buys Le Bosquet villa in Cannet, on the Côte d'Azur. Member of the Carnegie Prize jury, travels to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, where he meets collectors Duncan and Marjorie Phillips, and to New York City.


First major solo exhibition in New York City, at the De Hauke Gallery.


Exposes 44 paintings at the Wildenstein Gallery in New York City.


Matisse visits Bonnard regularly in Cannet.


Presents 33 works at Les Maîtres de l'art indépendant, 1895-1937 exhibition at the Petit Palais, in Paris. 


The Art Institute of Chicago devotes a major exhibition to Bonnard and Vuillard.


Sells his Vernon house and leaves Paris for Le Cannet. Paints landscapes and self-portraits.


Marthe Bonnard dies on January 26.


Pierre Bonnard dies at Cannet on January 23. The Musée de l'Orangerie presents a retrospective exhibition of his work. A special edition of Verve magazine is published, as planned by Bonnard and publisher Tériade as early as 1941. 


Retrospective at New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).



The exhibition Pierre Bonnard. Radiant Colour is co-produced by the Musée des beaux-arts du Québec and Arthemisia Group (Italy).

Jacqueline Munck
Chief Curator, Artistic Heritage, Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

Project Manager
Loren Leport
Director of Exhibitions and Outreach, MNBAQ

André Gilbert
Exhibition Curator, MNBAQ

Operations Manager
Yasmée Faucher, MNBAQ

Outreach Coordinator
Marie-Hélène Audet, MNBAQ

Exhibition Design
Guillaume Lord

Graphic Design

The Catalogue

Edited by Jacqueline Munck, chief curator of artistic heritage at the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, the catalogue Pierre Bonnard: La couleur radieuse takes the reader inside the artist's personal world and his creative process. Various dimensions of Bonnard's status as a singular figure in the art of the first half of the twentieth century are introduced through a selection of a hundred of his works: his Nabis years and time in Paris; street scenes and domestic interiors; family and more intimate scenes, including a sequence devoted to his companion, Marthe; and the landscapes of Le Cannet in the 1930s and 40s.

Four highly-regarded specialists – Dita Amory, Emmanuelle de l'Ecotais, Itzhak Goldbert and Isabbelle Monod-Fontaine – have contributed texts alongside Jacqueline Munck for this volume, which sets a standard in the field. The 184-page volume includes 148 colour illustrations, plunging the reader as never before into the world of this "painter who travelled around his house," as Maurice Denis, a French artist and art historian, once remarked.

Published by Skira, this book is distributed by Dimédia and is available for purchase at the Musée gift shop and in numerous bookstores throughout Québec.

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a state corporation funded by the Gouvernement du Québec.

Pierre Bonnard. Radiant Colour
MNBAQ's Pierre Lassonde pavilion
From 6 October 6 2016 to 15 January 15 2017

SOURCE Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

Image with caption: "Pierre Bonnard, Paysage du Midi et deux enfants, 1916-1918 (Art Gallery of Ontario) // Portrait de Pierre Bonnard (CNW Group/Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec)". Image available at:

For further information: 418 643-2150 or 1 866 220-2150,


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