Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947, French) was a painter and illustrator who joined Les Nabis. Bonnard never painted on location. Instead, he preferred to sketch or work from memory back in his studio. His style is defined as late or post Impressionism and displays a marked influence from Japanese prints. Known for his skillful use of color and composition, he used metaphor and irony in many of his works. Color was so important to Bonnard that he was known to touch up paintings that he had painted years prior in order to get them just right. Cats, of course, played symbolic roles as erotic, feminine and domestic mirrors and are included in many of his paintings. His wife Marthe de Meligny appears in many of his works as well.
Initially, Bonnard was a lawyer and practiced law briefly until he started attending art classes at Ecole des Beaux-Arts and found his passion for art. After transferring to Académie Julian in 1889, he became friends with Toulouse-Lautrec, Édouard Vuillard. And Félix Vallotton.
Bonnard was an independent person which is perhaps why he held an attraction to cats. The cat loving Henri Matisse commented, “Yes! I maintain that Bonnard is a great artist for our time and, naturally, for posterity.
Bonnard died at his cottage near Le Cannet in 1947.
Be sure to look closely to find the cats in some of the paintings.
Find a wide variety of Bonnard cat prints here.