Pierre Bonnard (1867 - 1947)

Pierre Bonnard was born at Fortenay-aux-Roses in France in 1867. He is considered to have been the most important "pure" painter of his generation in the tradition of the great colorists - Delacroix, Gauguin, Redon. He came to art after false starts in efforts to follow his father into the French civil service and chafing law studies.
He worked at the Ecole de Beaux Arts and at the Academie Julian in 1888. T he met Edouard Viullard and Maurice Denis, with whom he shared a studio in 1890. In 1891 he began to exhibit and in 1896 he held his first one-man show. Bonnard and his friends Roussel and Vallotton were known as the Nabis (Hebrew for Prophets). During the 1890s and the 1900s Bonnard's decorative flair was particularly in evidence. His work during this period had affinities with Art Nouveau in its linear rhythms and decorative qualities. He was attracted to poster design and his first poster in 1889 was one of the factors which determined his decision to become an artist against family opposition.
In 1893 Bonnard's life took a landmark turn when he met a young woman selling artificial flowers on the Boulevard Haussman in Paris. She called herself Marthe de Meligny and said she was still a teenager. Her real name was Marie Mousin, and she was twenty-six. For the next forty years she
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