Pierre Bonnard


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Status, estimation and price of the artist Pierre Bonnard

Price of a painting by the artist: 15,000 – 4 400,000 €.

Estimation of a drawing by the artist: 400 – 420,000 €

Estimation of a print: 30 – 30,200 €.

Price of a sculpture by the artist: 950 – 30,000 €

If you would like to have a work by Pierre Bonnard appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

The training of Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard is a painter, sculptor, engraver and illustrator from the French petite bourgeoisie. He was born in Fontenay-aux-Roses on 3 October 1867 and died in Le Cannet on 23 January 1947. He was attracted to drawing from a very young age, yet he nevertheless enrolled at the law faculty of Paris to reassure his father and obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1888. In 1886 he was admitted to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts where he met Édouard Vuillard, but he preferred classes at the Académie Julian over this school. He became friends with Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier Henri-Gabriel Ibels and Paul-Elie Ranson.

Pierre Bonnard and the Nabis pictorial movement

During a stay in Brittany in 1888, Pierre Bonnard met Paul Gauguin who introduced him to a non-realistic and schematic art and to a lack of depth. The comrades of the Académie Julian, struck by these little-known artistic forms, decided to found an informal group called “Nabi”. The following year, they were joined by important figures such as Édouard Vuillard, Ker-Xavier Roussel and Félix Vallotton. The group was part of a symbolist movement.

Japanese fashion, then at its peak, seduced the group. The bright colours, the reappearance of a certain depth, and the motifs inspired Bonnard, who now uses media other than canvas, such as panels or fans. In 1897 the art dealer Ambroise Vollard opened his gallery to the group and in 1899 the gallery owner Paul Durand-Ruel exhibited them alongside Odilon Redon. The Nabis campaigned for a total art form in the same way as their English contemporaries of the “Arts & Crafts” movement.

Pierre Bonnard’s mature years

Bonnard’s fame came mainly from his graphic productions. For example, he illustrated a music album “Le solfège” by his brother-in-law, and found an inspiring theme in the street scenes.

In 1893, Bonnard met the woman who would become his wife and his main model, Marthe. It was also during this period that the nude appeared abundantly in his artistic production.

In 1895, the artist became interested in the Impressionist movement and studied its primary painters. He used his touch differently and abandoned the subject a little to linger on the atmosphere. The painter sought new inspirations and travelled a lot. His palette became clearer and his themes grew more oriented towards nature. Attracted as much by the light from the north as from the south, the painter divided his time between Paris, Normandy and the French Riviera.

In the 1900s, Bonnard realised that he had abandoned shapes in favour of colour. He received commissions such as that of Misia Edwards and the creation of four panels for which he was inspired by the arcade-like atmosphere and which were exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in 1910. In the 1920s, he became more interested in landscapes and worked more extensively on still lifes. His paintings would become increasingly light-filled from then on.

Recognising Pierre Bonnard’s signature

Like many artists, Bonnard did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature pierre bonnard

Appraising and selling a piece by Pierre Bonnard

If you own a piece by Pierre Bonnard or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.