Bonnard continued to paint throughout his lifetime, and this piece was completed in 1944, three years before his death in 1947. From 1939, ‘Le Bosquet’, the Bonnards’ house above Cannes, became their full-time residence, where they intended to see out the remainder of the war. The garden at ‘Le Bosquet’ is the setting for this painting, with fresh green and yellow foliage surrounding the steps, under a blue sky. Bonnard said of his practice: ‘I have all my subjects to hand. I go and look at them. I take notes. Then I go home. And before I start painting, I reflect. I dream.’
Stairs in the Artist's Garden
The C C Land Exhibition: Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory
Date of work
Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) was a French artist who worked in the fields of painting, print-making, and photography. His work is best known for his use of colour, unusual vantage points and intimate portraits of domestic scenes from his own life. He was part of the Les Nabis group of avant-garde artists in the 1890s, alongside Paul Sérusier, Édouard Vuillard, and Maurice Denis. Bonnard often worked from memory, giving his paintings a dream-like quality.