Exhibition at the museum

Photographs by Pierre Bonnard (1867-1946)

From October 27th, 1987 to January 24th, 1988 -
Musée d'Orsay
Esplanade Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
75007 Paris
Map & itinerary
Pierre Bonnard-Un chat saute sur la robe d'Andrée Terrasse, Renée et Robert contemplent la scène
Pierre Bonnard
Un chat saute sur la robe d'Andrée Terrasse, Renée et Robert contemplent la scène, en 1898
Musée d'Orsay
don sous réserve d'usufruit de l'indivistion Terrasse, 1992
© Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
See the notice of the artwork

During the 1880's, techniques of photography had become considerably simplified and it was practised by many painters : from Degas to Munch, including Bonnard and his friend of the Nabi group, Vuillard.
Bonnard's subjects were the same as those of his paintings of the time : intimate nudes of Marthe, his favourite model and future wife, or family scenes in the Bonnard parents' property, "Le Clos". But the unity of his vision is even more striking than the similarity of subjects. One finds in his photographs the same sense of construction, mixing boldness and decorative harmony, the same taste for vivid gestures, dancing movement, fantasy, the same mysterious grace that transfigured these everyday scenes (these were all qualities which were well served by the snapshot technique).
The infallibility of Bonnard's sight and the quality of his invention make his photographs masterpieces, even though he never took himself seriously as a photographer. The pictures show that as he transposed his avant-garde painter's vision into photography, he was ahead of many photographers of his time.

The exhibition is now over.

See the whole program