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On Display

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)

Deux Chiens

Bonnard gave up a career as a barrister to become an artist. He was a founder member of the avant-garde group Les Nabis (the name based on the Hebrew word for prophet) and took part in their first exhibition in 1891. Les Nabis were keen to break the boundaries between fine and decorative art and Bonnard found early success as a graphic artist producing posters, prints, book illustrations and set designs for the theatre. He took the influences of Gauguin, Symbolism and Japanese art to develop a unique bold and decorative style.

In 1891 Bonnard entered a competition to design furniture for a dining room. He was rejected but the design for a cabinet door was resurrected in the painting Deux Chiens Jouant. The poodles may have been based on Bonnard's own dog Ravageau. The simple, striking composition and strong blocks of colour draw on Bonnard's interest in Japanese prints.

Medium oil on canvas
Date 1891
Dimensions 370mm x 397mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 1963/60
Credit Line Bequeathed in 1963 by Arthur Tilden Jeffress