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Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)

La femme à la rose ou Femme dans un intérieur

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
La femme à la rose ou Femme dans un intérieur
signed 'Bonnard' (lower right)
oil on board laid down on canvas
24½ x 18 7/8 in. (62.3 x 48 cm.)
Painted in 1909
Henry Bernstein, Paris; sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 8 June 1911, lot 3.
Galerie Druet, Paris (acquired at the above sale).
Mr. and Mrs. Edward G. Robinson, Beverly Hills (by 1941).
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1957.
J. and H. Dauberville, Bonnard, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 1968, vol. II, p. 167, no. 565 (illustrated).
Los Angeles County Museum, Mr. and Mrs. Edward G. Robinson Collection, June-July 1941.
Los Angeles County Museum, and San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, The Gladys Lloyd Robinson and Edward G. Robinson Collection, September 1956-January 1957, no. 2 (illustrated; as Women Seated in a Studio).
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc.; Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, and Boston Museum of Fine Arts, A Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture from the Niarchos Collection, December 1957-April 1958, p. 8, no. 1 (illustrated, p. 9; as Woman Seated in a Studio).
London, The Tate Gallery, The Niarchos Collection, May-June 1958, p. 3, no. 1 (illustrated, pl. 61).
Athens, National Picture Gallery, The Niarchos Art Collection, August-September 1958, no. 1.
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Sammlung S. Niarchos, January-March 1959, no. 50.
London, Royal Academy of Arts, Bonnard, January-February 1966, no. 61.
Paris, Orangerie des Tuileries, Pierre Bonnard--Centenaire de sa naissance, January-April 1967, no. 54 (illustrated).
Sale room notice
Please note the correct medium is oil on board laid down on canvas and the correct dimensions are 24½ x 18 7/8 in. (62.3 x 48 cm.).

Lot Essay

In the period following 1906 Bonnard's work showed a growing affinity with Degas' paintings. "The use of a close-in and frequently raised perspective, the cropped and oddly angled views, and the concentration on habitual, nonacademic, unselfconscious gesture linked (Bonnard and Degas) in their search for an intimacy and freshness of presentation" (S.A. Nash, "Tradition revised: some sources in late Bonnard," Bonnard the Late Paintings, exh. cat., Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., 1984, p. 20). La femme à la rose was painted circa 1909 and in it Bonnard renders the subject of his earlier intimiste paintings in a more abstracted manner. Bonnard creates spatial ambiguities in La femme à la rose by repeating the rectangular shapes of the rug, chair chairs, and paintings, and flattening the angle of perspective. The presence of the mirror is also a device that appeared in his work during this time. Jean Clair notes that the mirror served to "remind us that there is no absolute point of view, and that the world exists as much at our feet or over our heads, even behind our backs, as it does before our eyes" (ibid., p. 37). As with his later images of bathers there is a sense of psychological distancing within the picture. The seated woman appears to be self-absorbed and unaware that she is being observed. While Bonnard does not reference the identity of the model, preferring that she be understood as a universal symbol of womanhood, it is likely that she is Marthe de Méligny, Bonnard's mistress who was his frequent model and whom he married in 1925.

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