The prophets of painting
Pierre Bonnard was born on 4 October 1867 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, on the outskirts of Paris.
Like some illustrious painters of that time, Bonnard studied law and became a lawyer and then… devote himself to painting.
So at the age of 21 he attended courses at the Academy of Fine Arts where he met other young painters with three common passions: art, esotericism and occultism and magic.
This is why they wanted to call themselves the “Nabis”, a name of Hebrew derivation which means the “Prophets”, the “Inspired”, and as a tutelary deity in painting they chose Paul Gauguin.
A painter from the group, Paul Sérusier, had the opportunity to meet him and painted a small picture, a landscape, imitating the style of Gauguin.
From that moment the small painting, made on a cigar box lid, was called “The Talisman” and considered the model to be inspired by.
Starting from these ideological assumptions, Bonnard's painting does not consider impressionism or even the real data except as a pretext for relating tones and colors.
He meets Matisse and Kandinskij and declares that he wants to overcome "their naturalistic impressions of color". Bonnard, as in a novel by Octave Mirbeau (which, coincidentally, he illustrated), mixes reality, dream, fantasy and psychological investigation to obtain “stories” condensed into an image.
He said: "Imagination is nothing more than the fruit of our memory".
And so his paintings enter our memory for the inexhaustible imagination of its author Pierre Bonnard.
Andrea Giuseppe Fadini.
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