By 1912, Bonnard had begun to spend much of his time away from Paris, and in that year, he purchased a modest villa at Vernonnet, a picturesque hamlet in the Seine valley not far from Giverny. During the next four decades, the artist turned increasingly for his subject matter among the rooms in which he lived, first at Vernonnet and later at Le Cannet, evoking the daily rhythms of domestic intimacy in still-life and interior inspirations.
The present picture is a luminous example of the work from these years, its autumnal palette lending the familiar still-life motifs an air of unfamiliar but serene enchantment. John Rewald has written, "With the exception of Vuillard, no painter of his generation was to endow his technique with so much sensual delight, so much feeling for the undefinable texture of paint, so much vibration. The sensitivity which guided his brush he infused into every particle of paint placed on the canvas; there is almost never any dryness, any dullness in his execution. His paintings are not merely 'flat surfaces covered with colors arranged in a certain order' [as Maurice Denis described the work of the Nabis]; they are covered with colors applied with a delicate voluptuousness that confers to the pigment a life of its own and treats every single stroke like a clear note of a symphony. At the same time, Bonnard's colors changed from opaque to transparent and brilliant, and his perceptiveness seemed to grow as his brush found ever more expert and more subtle means to capture the richness both of his imagination and of nature" (in Pierre Bonnard, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1948, p. 48).
cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1948, p. 48).