(Fontenay-aux-Roses,France,1867 - Le Cannet,France,1947) Pierre Bonnard is a leading French painter, engraver and photographer. In the late 1880s, he studied the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he founded the Les Nabis group. The group, officially founded in 1888, exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in1891. Bonnard was known in the group as Nabi Japonard and, like his fellow members drew constant inspiration for his work in magic and the occult. In his esoteric quest, he distanced himself from realism and the naturalism of the Impressionists, and instead drew closer to the kind of symbolist painting much appreciated by the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Bonnard’s pictorial idiom was very different from that of the dominant avant-garde headed by his contemporaries Matisse and Kandinsky. While he continued experimenting with impressionism, this was intended to “move beyond the naturalistic impressions of colour”. His favorite subjects included still-lives, interiors and female nudes.
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