Pierre Bonnard 1894 La Revue Blanche Art Nouveau poster.
Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867-1947)
La Revue Blanche, 1894
Lithograph in colors on wove paper
Printed by Edward Ancourt, Paris
Height 32 inches (81 cm)
Width 24.5 inches (62.3 cm) (sheet)
Framed: Height: 37 Inches X Width 30 Inches
Condition: Exceptional. Linen backed with minimal creases and wear commensurate of age and use. UV Museum Plexiglass and carved wood frame with some wear. Vibrant colors!
Pasted up on the Parisian streets this dramatic image of dark silhouetted figures against a grey background would certainly have caught the eye. Dividing the poster vertically is the sultry image of a well-dressed woman in a large flowered hat and fashionable mantle. She is holding a copy of La revue blanche in one hand, as a small boy with gestures towards it with his thumb. Both figures look down and to the right, creating a diagonal that animates the basic grid of the composition. Behind them a menacing black shape (sometimes read as a rear view of a man wearing a top hat with collar upraised) looks at a wall of magazines.
The ‘l’ of the ‘la’ hangs from her arm like an umbrella, while the ‘a’ curves around the leg of the woman. The tail of the ‘b’ defines one side of her dress, the other ‘l’ makes a division between the two figures. The text is hand written and sustains the wobbly quality of Bonnard’s line that is especially prevalent in the urchin’s face. Note how the pattern of the chequered scarf remains flat and decorative. Bonnard here refers to Japanese woodcut prints, where flat areas of plain colour and pattern deny the illusion of space.
La revue blanche was a monthly magazine founded in 1889 by the Natanson brothers. It published contemporary and avant garde literature, political comment and images. Bonnard designed all kinds of material for the magazine, which in turn promoted his name. Misia Godebska, the wife of Thadee Natanson was possibly the model for the female figure in this poster.
Bonnard created more than 120 editioned projects between 1891 and 1947, including designs for theatre programs, exhibition announcements, sheet music, book and journal illustration, and individual prints. His first poster commission, an advertisement for champagne, appeared in 1891 and was an immediate success. This was eventually followed by nine other posters, including this one for La Revue blanche, a Parisian periodical that published work by avant-garde writers and included prints by contemporary artists. This and Bonnard’s other posters bear many of the same design hallmarks: unmodulated color, a playful depiction of flattened space, and a decorative handling of silhouettes and textures.
This poster is in collections at museums like: MOMA, The MET, The DMA, The louvre and countless other internationally recognized museums. Own a museum quality Art Nouveau Piece of History and Art Today!
Ernest Maindron Les Affiches illustrées (1889-1895). Paris, 1896, p. 41.
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Pierre Bonnard Exposition P. Bonnard. Paris, 1896, cat. no. no. 50.
Jean Floury Essai de catalogue de l’oeuvre gravé et lithographié de Pierre Bonnard in Charles Terrasse, Bonnard. see Notes, 1927, p. 10.
Claude Roger-Marx Bonnard lithographe. Monte Carlo: André Sauret, 1952, p. 32.
Francis Bouvet, Jane Brenton, Antoine Terrasse Bonnard: The Complete Graphic Work. 1981, p. 30.
Colta Ives, Helen Giambruni, Sasha M. Newman Pierre Bonnard: The Graphic Art. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1990, cat. no. 33, fig. no. 151, ill.