Le Promenade (one of four panels executed for a screen)

Pierre Bonnard, Artist

This is one of the prints in our collection. It was made in Paris, France in circa 1899.
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Object Detail

Image: H140 x W466mm
Part three of a four part screen. In this instance the very top of the work has been cut off. In 1894, Bonnard wrote to his mother: "I am working on a screen [...]. It is of the Place de la Concorde with a young mother walking with her children, with nannies and dogs, and on top, as a border, a carriage rank, and all on a light beige background which is very like the Place de la Concorde when it's dusty and looks like a miniature Sahara".
From his very beginnings as an artist Pierre Bonnard was attracted to the idea of the screen. He first used this medium as a series of decorative panels in his Women in the Garden of 1891 (Musée d'Orsay and Zurich, Kunsthaus) and in an Rural Collection in 1894 (New York, Museum of Modern Art).
Nannies' Promenade, his third attempt, was more ambitious. Bonnard first produced a single picture (private collection) where the motifs, drawn from life, are arranged in tiers on a blank surface. The figures of the young woman and the boys, drawn with gentle humour, stand out in the empty surroundings. The nannies, dogs and carriages, presented on a smaller scale, give the impression of depth. The scene recalls the familiar theme of the park – a subject that inspired Vuillard, that same year, the panels of a large decorative work for Alexandre Natanson (five of which are conserved in the Musée d'Orsay).
Three years after painting this joyful work in distemper, Bonnard decided to transcribe it into five colour lithographs, published and sold as separate sheets, or mounted. The work thus became an object of everyday use, going back to one of the major preoccupations of the Nabis: to bring art into domestic life.
- http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/collections/works-in-focus/decorative-arts/commentaire_id/screen-19839.html?tx_commentaire_pi1%5BpidLi%5D=846&tx_commentaire_pi1%5Bfrom%5D=843&cHash=dfebf6c406
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Gift of Mr Rex Nan Kivell, 1939.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
08 Dec 1939



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