Painting of the Week / Thomas Abbs

Painting of the Week: 9

Woman with DogPierre Bonnard, Women with Dog, 1891, Oil on canvas, 40.6 x 32.4 cm, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

As modernist painters go, the work of Pierre Bonnard shifts in and out of the public’s focus much like the subjects in his paintings. However, in Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bonnard had a devoted fan who eloquently said in 2000: ‘There is in the work of Pierre Bonnard a trembling and a humility, which have always overwhelmed me. Certian painters become fully accomplished at the end of their life. Bonnard blossomed from the the beginning to his last breath. His profound intelligence never suffocated his sensuality.’ However, despite Bresson’s insight, it should also be noted it is hard to resist an artist who is so obviously entranced by dogs.

This painting is included in our book Pierre Bonnard: Early and Late, which accompanied an exhibition at The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., and the Denver Art Museum in 2002.

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