Musée d'Orsay: Pierre Bonnard Decorated Plate

Pierre Bonnard
Decorated Plate

Decorated Plate
Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
Decorated Plate
Between 1906 and 1910
H. 25.5; W. 25.5cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Dog lying down (detail)

Assiette décorée [Decorated Plate]

Like Gauguin, certain Nabis - Maillol, Rippl-Rônai,Vuillard and Bonnard - took enthusiastically to producing ceramics. Abolishing the hierarchy of the major arts (painting, sculpture and architecture) and the minor or decorative arts was one of their great projects. What they wanted in fact was to bring art closer to daily life and produce everyday objects to be sold cheaply. So the Nabis started to produce all sorts of objects: screens, fans, lampshades, wallpaper, stained glass, tapestries and ceramics.

This plate decorated by Bonnard shows the outline of a nude woman with a dog at her feet. A small preparatory drawing of the animal accompanies the plate in its exhibition frame. It is extremely rare to find a ceramic piece by the "very Japanese" Nabi, unlike those by Rippl-Rônai or Vuillard. This makes the piece even more interesting as it represents a little known aspect of Bonnard's art.

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