Paintings such as this tranquil garden scene were rarely painted in situ. Instead Bonnard preferred to take photographs and make several preparatory sketches before painting the final piece, selecting the colours from memory. Bonnard said of his process that ‘drawing is sensation. Colour is reasoning’. Whilst Bonnard endured several personal hardships in the 1920s, this decade was one of the most commercially successful of his career, as he gained popularity in the US market, which was drawn to his vivid use of colour.
The Violet Fence
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.