Brighten up with Bonnard

If you’re in need of brightening up this winter, there’s no better place to go than The National Gallery of Victoria’s Winter Masters Exhibition: BONNARD designed by India Mahdavi. It’s a celebration of flamboyance and vibrancy. The innovative design creates a settling of colour and texture that compliments the liveliness and feeling of the works.

Installation view of Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi  on display International, Melbourne. Photo: Lillie Thompson

Backdrops to the works on display include furnishings, rugs and wall paper all pairing together to make this exhibition a unique experience

NGV Winter Masters Exhibition: BONNARD – media launch Image: GRACIE

The exhibition showcases more than 100 works by Bonnard that include domestic interiors, natural landscapes and urban scenes. Colour and light radiate from the works leaving you to feel happy and energised.

Pierre Bonnard  La place Clichy 1912 oil on canvas 138.0 × 203.0 cm
Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne-Centre de création industrielle
On deposit at Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie de Besançon since 1972 Gift of Adèle and George Besson, 1963 Photo © Centre Pompidou

Two early works feature Bonnard’s lifelong companion, Marthe de Méligny, who was an inspirational model for Bonnard. Exhibited against lively wallpaper they show intimate scenes featuring Marthe de Méligny with her face turned to protect her privacy. Bonnard has further used dappled brushwork to obscure her identity. 

Pierre Bonnard French 1867-1947 Girl with black stockings (La Jeune Fille aux bas noirs) 1893
Oil on wood Musee D’Orsay Paris Gift of Zeineb & Jeans-Pierre Marcie-Riviere, 2011
Pierre Bonnard French 1867-1947
Siesta (La Sieste) 1900 Oil on Canvas National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton bequest 1949

Along with paintings of urban scenes, domestic interiors and open landscapes, the exhibition showcases lithographs as well as Bonnard’s adoption of photography.

Pierre Bonnard artist French 1867-1947 Edward Ancourt printer France active 1870-98
La Revue blanche 1894 color lithograph Art Gallery of NSW Sydney  Purchased. 1978
Pierre Bonnard French 1867-1947 Pierre Bonnard smoking a pipe in the garden at Grand-Lemps C. 1906, printed 2023 inkjet print from original negative Musée d’Orsay, Paris Donation with life interest from Charles Terrasse’s children, 1987

Bonnard used a shutter release cable for his self portraits using a roll-filled Kodak camera.

The exhibition is on until 8 October 2023 and provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Bonnard’s work in a unique and exciting setting. Details can be found here