On view now at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor museum, “Painting Arcadia” is the first major international presentation of this artist’s work in more than 50 years. Who’s the artist?
Featuring more than 70 outstanding paintings that span Pierre Bonnard’s (1867-1947) career, “Painting Arcadia” is a rare opportunity on the West Coast. In addition to Bonnard’s outstanding paintings, the exhibition includes the artist’s experimental photography. Working along the boundary between the Impressionist and abstraction movements at the turn of the century, several of Bonnard’s artistic themes will come to light during the show. Among them, the artist’s decorative commissions, where “the natural world merges with the bright colors and light of the South of France, where windows link interior and exterior spaces, and where intimate scenes disclose unexpected phantasmagorical effects,” as the museum writes.
Among the highlights of the show is “The Large Garden” of 1895. The viewer has landed in a rural garden on a magnificent afternoon. Two children pick wildflowers while another dances out of the frame to the right. A dog, several chickens, and the mother of the children complete the group. The brushwork observed in the piece is vivid and lively, recalling the expressionistic works of Vincent van Gogh.
“Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia” opened on February 6 and will remain on view through May 15. To learn more, visit The Legion of Honor.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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