Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pierre Bonnard at Auction

SOTHEBY'S Impressionist and Modern Art February 4, 2003 

Perhaps the greatest masterpiece of French art in the sale is Pierre Bonnard's (1867-1947) La Porte fenêtre, also known as Matinée au Cannet. In its wonderful vibrancy of colour and vision, it is one of the artist's most compelling interiors and represents a highpoint of his career. The painting depicts the artist's wife, Marthe, eating her breakfast in the small sitting room on the upper floor of 'Le Bosquet', the house where she lived with Bonnard on the Côte d'Azur. Bonnard himself is reflected in the mirror behind her, seated opposite her in a wicker chair. The work was painted in 1932 and has come to the market from a Private European Collection. It was expected to fetch £2,000,000-3,000,000. Price realized: £4,261,600

Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale New York | 05 Nov 2014 

PIERRE BONNARD 1867 - 1947 
ESTIMATE 300,000-400,000 USD 

 Marthe Bonnard sur un divan is a remarkably intimate painting of Marthe de Méligny, Bonnard’s muse and model from the mid-1890s until the end of her life. Bonnard first met Marthe in 1893 when she was working as a shop girl in Paris, and she soon became his life-long companion, although they did not marry until 1925 after the death of Bonnard’s young mistress Renée Monchaty. According to Charles Terrasse, the artist’s nephew, “It is [Marthe] who appears in his pictures, early and later, more than anyone else: a woman of beautiful bodily proportions and peculiar gesture, fleeting and free, of which the great observer’s eye would always catch a gesture, a movement, or an undulation in the light” (Charles Terrasse,  Bonnard and his Environment  (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1964, p. 16). 

Marthe appears repeatedly throughout Bonnard’s oeuvre and is almost always presented within, and as an integral component of, her domestic setting. Marthe’s dark shirt and shoes in this painting echo the divan and wallpaper. At once remote and intimate,  Marthe Bonnard sur un divan  exemplifies a central Nabis theme: that of the woman depicted in a domestic, interior setting, with the viewer occupying the role of voyeur, a role we are reminded of by Marthe’s vulnerable supine position. We find Marthe lost in a private moment, resting quietly and unaware of being watched. The voyeurism of the present work anticipates the artist’s later exploration of the nude in the bathroom, an interest in the unself-conscious woman in her own domestic space that he shared with Degas and Renoir. Bonnard afforded this seemingly unremarkable activity his utmost attention, clearly besotted with this woman and interested in her every move. Sarah Whitfield remarks on the intensely personal nature of his paintings: “Yet, from the start, this modest and most discreet of men, this least public of artists made his daily life the subject of his art, observing steadily and calmly everything that was closest to him: his family, his surroundings, his companion, his animals... The moments he chooses to paint are the soothing lulls that punctuate a domestic routine” (quoted in Bonnard (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Modern Art, New York & Tate Gallery, London, 1998, pp. 9-10).   

Sotheby's 2015

Pierre Bonnard, Cinq personnages, Oil on canvas $1,138,000 (£739,682)

Sotheby's 2014

LOT SOLD. 2,045,000 USD

LOT SOLD. 365,000 USD  

LOT SOLD. 221,000 USD

LOT SOLD.  266,500 GBP

Estimate 3,000,0005,000,000 USD

 Christie's 2001


 Christie's 2006



Portrait de jeune fille,  Mademoiselle Renée Terrasse






Christie's 2007


Christie's 2009

Sotheby's 2013

Estimate 400,000600,000 USD

Christie's 2004


Christie's 2005



Christie's 2008






Christie's 2009

Christie's 2010





Christie's 2011

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
Les pins, bord de mer

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
Femme nue assise

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
La Place Clichy, le soir



Christie's 2012






Christie's 2013

 Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)

Christie's 2015