Color lithograph on wove paper backed on linen
Dimensions: Image: 29 1/4 x 22 7/8 in. (74.3 x 58.1 cm);
Sheet: 31 1/2 x 24 1/2 in. (80 x 62.2 cm)
Museum Associates Purchase Fund
Pierre Bonnard was one of the group of avant-garde painters active in Paris during the 1890s who called themselves the Nabis, or prophets. Their forward-looking sense of a painting as an arrangement of color on a flat surface was inspired in part by the art of Paul Gauguin, but also informed by the art of Japan. Bonnard, known in his circle as the “Nabi Japonais” (the “Japanese Prophet”), was fascinated by Japanese decorative arts and patterns, as seen in this poster for La Revue Blanche, a literary and artistic review to which he contributed illustrations. Bonnard’s Japanese aesthetic comes out in particular in the geometric pattern of the boy’s neckerchief, a pattern echoed in the overlapping covers of the magazines that form the background of the image. For Bonnard, the city is literally made up of the writings and imagery of a new wave of talented artists, and he takes the poster’s claim that the magazine is “en vente partout” (“on sale everywhere”) to a passionate extreme. (Andrew C. Weislogel, "Mirror of the City: The Printed View in Italy and Beyond, 1450–1940," catalogue accompanying an exhibition organized by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, curated by Andrew C. Weislogel and Stuart M. Blumin, and presented at the Johnson Museum August 11–December 23, 2012)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.