Imbued with fantasy, constancy and a desire to escape from any kind of system, Bonnard was a truly exceptional artist. He is appreciated for "the magnificence of his colours, his radical vision and his offbeat Jarry-style humour," says Guy Cogeval, president of the Musée d'Orsay and curator of the exhibition Bonnard. Peindre l'Arcadie, on show until 19 July. In Greek mythology Arcadia was the idyllic natural world in which men and gods lived in peace. Pierre Bonnard's quest was much the same. He very early abandoned realism to develop "an Arcadian vision of the world centred on his personal life, his family and his places of residence". His life partner Marthe, his mistresses, nephews, art dealers and painter friends were the sole subjects of his paintings (and photos). He captured them in "a kind of joyous exaltation" sometimes tinged with melancholy. Like his bathroom paintings in the exhibition's Histoire d'Eau section: the bathroom was a favourite subject with him and these picture express intimacy and complicity between painter and model. Bathrooms are also the theme of an exhibition La toilette, naissance de l'intime at the Musée Marmottan-Monet until 5 July. This show covers five centuries but Bonnard is of course well represented.
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Au musée Marmottan, Pierre Bonnard, Nu au tub,1903.
© Fond. Bemberg/RMN-Grand Palais/M.Rabeau/ADAGP Paris 2015
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À Orsay, Pierre Bonnard, L'Indolente, 1899.
© RMN-Grand Palais / Thierry Le Mage/ADAGP Paris 2015