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

Armistice

Details
Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
Armistice
signed 'Bonnard' (upper left)
oil on canvas
23½ x 33 5/8 in. (59.5 x 85.3 cm.)
Painted in 1918
Provenance
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, by whom acquired from the artist in 1919.
Max Pellequer, Paris.
Ambroise Vollard, Paris.
Robert de Galéa, Paris.
Christian de Galéa, Paris, by descent from the above; sale, Christie's, London, 6 February 2001, lot 15.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Literature
J. & H. Dauberville, Bonnard, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, vol. II, 1906-1919, Paris, 1968, no. 937, p. 432 (illustrated).
Exhibited
Tokyo, Galerie Yoshii, Bonnard, Peintre de couleurs merveilleuses, 1973, no. 23.
Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Fondation Maeght, Bonnard dans sa lumière, July - December 1975.
Tokyo, Nihonbashi Takashimaya Art Galleries, Pierre Bonnard, October - November 1980, no. 37 (titled '12-14 Juillet'); this exhibition later travelled to Kobe, Le Musée Préfectoral d'Art Moderne, Hyogo; Nagoya, Le Musée Préfectoral d'Art, Aichi; Fukuoka, Le Musée Municipal d'Art.
Geneva, Musée Rath, Pierre Bonnard, April - June 1981, no. 39.
Madrid, Fundaciòn Juan March, Bonnard, September - November 1983, no. 25; this exhibition later travelled to Barcelona, Sala de Exposiciones, Caixa de Barcelona.
Lausanne, Fondation de l'Hermitage, Pierre Bonnard, June - October 1991, no. 43 (titled 'Le Quatorze Juillet', dated '1916').
Humlebaek, Denmark, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Pierre Bonnard, September 1992 - January 1993, no. 49.
Paris, Galerie Schmit, Pierre Bonnard, May - July 1995, no. 29.
Paris, Galerie Schmit, Maîtres français du XIXe - XXe siècles, May - July 2000, no. 3.
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Giovanna Bertazzoni
Giovanna Bertazzoni

Lot Essay

Painted in 1918, shortly after the end of the Great War, Armistice perfectly captures the revelry and jubilation that greeted the cessation of hostilities. Bonnard's vibrant evocation of the impromptu street parties which broke out all over France symbolises renewed hope for the age. Armistice recalls Bonnard's earlier Nabis explorations of the Nocturne, and its softening effects on scenes of Paris street life, but by 1918 Bonnard's use of colour and light had undergone a radical change. He had embraced the light and atmosphere of the South of France during his second trip in 1909 and, as a result, his palette had become bolder and he had adopted the strong colouring that characterises his later style. Bonnard's technique in the 1890s of creating a duality of light and darkness by punctuating the night with street lights or with gaudily dressed characters here finds its echo some two decades later, although Armistice concentrates less on darkness than on the depiction of night through the use of colour. The only night depicted is the small area of sky at the upper centre; the rest of the composition relies on subdued, but strong colours, from the orange of the lanterns and the carousel to the blues of the soldiers' uniforms as they dance in the streets.

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