20 March 2015
Young Girl Sitting with a Rabbit
|Materials/Techniques||oil on canvas|
|Size (cm)||96.5 x 43|
|Inscriptions||Signed (P and B in monogram) and dated upper left: P Bonnard / 1891|
The Japonisme boom that spread among the artists and writers of the second half of the 19th century reflected the profound influence exerted by Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and other Japanese arts on the premier artists of the day. Bonnard, one of the central members of the Nabis group, was not excluded from this trend. He was given the apt nickname of "Le Nabi-japonard" by his contemporaries for his admiration for Japanese art. In fact, he owned numerous Ukiyo-e prints, including the works of Hiroshige, Toyokuni, Kunisada, and Kuniyoshi, and stated, "The walls of my room are inundated with these gaudy woodblock prints." For Bonnard, who discarded the traditional European expression of three-dimensional space and tended towards decorative, idealized flattened compositions, Japanese woodblock prints were the object of wonder. Young Girl Sitting with a Rabbit, painted in 1891, represents a turning point in Bonnard's early creative work. The decorative qualities characterizing his Nabis period are clearly visible here, such as the vertical composition, the S-shaped curve of the girl's form, the decorative forms and the two dimensional spatial composition. All of these elements reflect the strong influence of Japanese art. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.109)
Arsène Alexandre, Paris; Auc. Arsène Alexandre, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 18 May 1903, no. 4; Pierre Bonnard (acquired at the above sale); Elie Faure, Paris; Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1912; Auc., Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 9 February 1925, no. 7; Félix Fénéon, Paris; Auc. Félix Fénéon, Hôtel Drouot Paris, 3 December 1941, no. 33; Albert Kleinmann; E. & A. Silbermann Galleries, New York; William S. Rubin, New York; Richard L. Feign Gallery, Chicago; Auc., Sotheby's, New York, 11 November 1987, no. 36; Seibu Pisa, Tokyo, by which sold to the NMWA, 1988.
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- Ambroise Vollard, Paris, 1893 - 1893
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