Poster, 'France - Champagne', Pierre Bonnard, French; 1891.
Against a yellow ground a woman in evening dress holds a fan in her left hand and in the other, a glass of champagne, its contents overflowing, filling the foreground with bubbles.
This poster produced by Pierre Bonnard when he was just 23, differs greatly in style from the tranquil genre paintings he would produce in maturity and for which the artist is best known. The later works have a soft palette and dream-like quality to them, whereas this poster, with its bold graphics and strong use of colour is much more lively. Bonnard's father, a public servant, had wanted his son to study the law; Bonnard dutifully trained as a barrister and was admitted to the bar at the age of 21. Nevertheless, Bonnard also indulged his aspirations to be a painter and enrolled as a student at the Académie Julian in Paris and it was here that he would meet the fellow artists with whom he would form the symbolist group that was to have a lasting impression on his life's work: Les Nabis.
Presented by Mrs. J. T. Clarke.
Location: Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case Y, shelf 80, box C