Bonnard, Pierre

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Bonnard, Pierre Gender: M
Pierre Eugene Frédéric Bonnard
born on 3 October 1867 at 10:00 (= 10:00 AM )
Place Fontenay aux Roses, France, 48n47, 2e17
Timezone LMT m2e17 (is local mean time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Gauquelin
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 09°43' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 13°56 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 21°56'

Portrait of Pierre Bonnard 
(click to view image source)
Pierre Bonnard


French post-impressionist painter and print maker whose works included "The Open Window," 1921 and "The Breakfast Room," 1930.

Born to an affluent family in the Paris suburbs, he was raised in the countryside and, as a dutiful son, studied law for the civil service. At the same time, he attended art classes at the Academie Julian. With his heart set on art, Bonnard spent a year at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts at 21. After selling a striking poster painting for the vintners "France-Champagne," his first commercial success, he began his career in earnest as a serious artist. During this period he favored strong silhouettes and subjective colors, displaying work that was luminous in light.

During the 1890s Bonnard worked in the theater, doing sets and collaborating on Revues. Some of his lithographs of that period have gained icon status. By 1913 he was moving into a crucial period, feeling a need to reconstruct his image and vision. He began a stronger use of line than of color, gaining an almost three-dimension effect. He was nonetheless experimental, even daring expressionism. Not favored uniformly by critics, he does have his champions who feel that this is the most gifted colorist ever to pick up a brush. His forte, indoors and out, was light. Through the '20s and '30s, some critics felt that he was "the last poet of bourgeois sensibility."

Bonnard painted one model continuously, the birdlike Marthe, whose first portrait was dated in 1894; they married 31 years later in 1925. Bonnard painted more than 2,000 works, 384 of them of Marthe.

They had met in 1893 when she was selling artificial flowers on the Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. For the next 40 years she was his companion, his confident and his model for intimate nudes. She is portrayed in great sensuousness in her bath, in their bedroom and in their bed in what critics have called some of the greatest nude painting of the century. As she aged, Marthe became increasingly ill and neurotic, but they were tightly bonded. In his works she remained forever 16, the age she had assumed for herself along with claims to a fine family. It was years before he found that her real name was Maria Mousin and she was 26 when they met, the daughter of a local carpenter.

Bonnard fell passionately in love with a longtime lover, a lively model named Renee Monchaty and they planned to marry but ended the engagement when he became convinced that the frail Marthe could not survive without him. Legend has it that the broken-hearted Renee drowned herself in the bath and that it was Bonnard who found her. After her death, he and Marthe withdrew to their modest villa in Le Cannet, near Cannes; they married the following year. Though he remained remote from the traumas of the 20th century, he did buy a horseless carriage in 1911. He remained a highly private man.

Some reviewers feel that Bonnard's portrayals of Marthe hold a dark and secret note, that her bath resembles a sarcophagus and that in some paintings, her youthful body seems to melt into dissolution. After Marthe died in January 1942, Bonnard continued to revise his final bathing portrait of her for another four years, finally producing the masterpiece "Nude in the Bath and Small Dog." He died the following year, on 1/23/1947, Le Cannet, France.

On 6/21/1998, the first full-scale retrospective of Pierre Bonnard's work to be shown in New York in more than 30 years arrived from London to the Museum of Modern Art.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Denis, Maurice (born 25 November 1870). Notes: Members of "Les Nabis"
  • associate relationship with Sérusier, Paul (born 9 November 1864). Notes: Members of "Les Nabis"
  • associate relationship with Vuillard, Édouard (born 12 November 1868). Notes: Members of "Les Nabis"


  • Relationship : Meet a significant person 1893 (Met Marthe)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1921 (The Open Window)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1925 (Marthe)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1930 (The Breakfast Room)
  • Death, Cause unspecified 23 January 1947 in Le Cannet (Age 79)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 21 June 1998 (Retrospective showing)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Gauquelin Vol. 4/139. Same from Les Dates de Didier Feb/2000


  • Traits : Personality : Private (Very private)
  • Family : Childhood : Advantaged (Affluent family)
  • Family : Relationship : Cohabitation more than 3 yrs (With Marthe 31 years)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Married Marthe after 31 years together)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Chronic misery (Marthe became ill and neurotic as she aged)
  • Vocation : Art : Fine art artist (Post-impressionist)
  • Vocation : Art : Stage/ Set design
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection