On October 3, 1867 Pierre EugËne FrÈdÈric Bonnard was born at
Fontenay-aux-Roses, a Paris suburb, to FranÁois EugËne Bonnard
and Elizabeth LÈlia Mertzdorff.
November 7, 1885 In a letter to his father, Bonnard tells him that he
has decided to enroll in the law school, "Ecole de Droit" and to devote
his free time to the serious study of painting.
1887 Enrolls at the AcadÈmie Julian in Paris where he meets Paul
SÈrusier, Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Paul Ranson and Maurice Denis.
February 14, Applies for admission to the Šcole des Beaux-Arts
and is admitted on March 11.
1888 Gains his "licence en droit". Paul SÈrusier meets Gauguin at
Pont-Aven in Brittany and under his direction paints a small landscape
constructed of flat areas of pure color. He shows it to his friends at
the AcadÈmie Julian and together they form a group calling themselves
"Nabis" (the Hebrew word for prophets). SÈrusier's painting becomes
known as The Talisman.
1889 Bonnard competes unsuccessfully for the Prix de Rome.
Around this time he meets Ker-Xavier Roussel and Edouard
Vuillard. Wins first prize in a poster competition.
1890 Rents a studio in the rue Pigalle which he shares with
Edouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, and the actor AurÈlien LugnÈ-
Poe. September 25, Sister, AndrÈe, marries the composer
Claude Terrasse at Le Grand-Lemps.
March-April 1891. Participates for the first time in the Salon des
IndÈpendants where he shows nine works. At the end of March his
prize-winning poster of 1889, France-Champagne, is distributed and
attracts the attention of Toulouse-Lautrec. December, Participates in
Peintres impressionistes et symbolistes, the first of fifteen exhibitions
of that title organized over the next five years by Louis-LÈon Le Barc
de Boutteville. It is the first group showing of the Nabis.
March-April, 1892. Shows seven paintings at the Salon des
IndÈpendants, including The Croquet Game. Attracts the notice of
several critics, one of whom describes him as "the most Japanese
of all French painters."
March-April, 1893. Shows four paintings at the Salon des IndÈpendants.
Publication of an album of music by Claude Terrasse, Petites scËnes
familiËres, with twenty lithographs by Bonnard. Meets Maria Boursin
(1869-1942) who calls herself Marthe de MÈligny. She becomes his
lifelong companion. Her likeness appears in around 384 paintings.
1894 Designs poster for La Revue blanche.
November-December, 1895. The art dealer Ambroise Vollard commissions
sets of lithographs from Bonnard, Vuillard, Denis, and Roussel.
January, 1896. Shows fifty-six works at the Galerie Durand-Ruel. It is
his first one-man show and provokes a strong reaction from Camille
Pissarro: "One more Symbolist who is a total failure." February, Exhibits
at the Salon de la Libre EsthÈtique in Brussels. December 10, Alfred
Jarry's play Ubu Roi is given its first performance in the Salle du
Nouveau ThÈ’tre. Bonnard collaborates with SÈrusier, Toulouse-Lautrec,
Vuillard, Ranson, and Jarry on the scenery and masks; the music is by
Claude Terrasse. The Nabis show with Le Barc de Boutteville for the last
time. His death deprives them of one of their most active supporters.
1897 April-May. Group show of the Nabis at Vollard's gallery. May-June,
Bonnard illustrations for Marie, a novel by the Danish writer Peter
Nansen, appear in four issues of La Revue blanche. They attract the
attention of Renoir who sends Bonnard a letter care of Vollard saying:
"I find your drawings in the revue blanche quite exquisite. They are
really you; don't lose this art." The book was published the following
January 1898. Bonnard collaborates on making puppets for the short-
lived ThÈ’tre des Pantins founded by Alfred Jarry, Franc-Nohain,
and Claude Terrasse. April,Group show of the Nabis at Vollard's gallery.
1899 Publication of Alfred Jarry's Petit Almanach du pËre Ubu illustrated
by Bonnard. March, L'Ecole moderne, an exhibition of contemporary art
organised by Signac in homage to Redon opens at the Galerie Durand-
Ruel; it includes ten works by Bonnard. April, Exhibition of lithographs
by Bonnard, Vuillard, Denis, and Redon at Vollard's gallery. Visits Venice
and Milan with Vuillard and Roussel. Publication of a suite of twelve
lithographs commissioned by Vollard, Quelques aspects de la vie de Paris.
1900 June. Exhibits with the Nabis at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune.
September, Vollard publishes an edition of Paul Verlaine's erotic
poems ParallËlement illustrated by Bonnard with 109 lithographs in
pink sanguine and nine woodcuts. Portrayed by Maurice Denis in his
large group portrait Hommage to CÈzanne.
1901 January. Publication by Vollard of Alfred Jarry's Almanach illustrÈ
du pËre Ubu with seventy-nine lithographic drawings by Bonnard.
Visits Spain with Vuillard and Antoine and Emmanuel Bibesco.
Shows nine paintings at the Salon des IndÈpendants.
1902 Visits Holland with his dealer Jos Hessel and his wife Lucie, Vuillard
and Roussel. November, Vollard publishes an edition of Daphnis et ChloÈ
by Longus, illustrated by 156 lithographs by Bonnard.
1903 March. Exhibits six paintings at the Salon des IndÈpendants, of
which he is now a committee member, and three at the newly founded
Salon d'Automne. Exhibits at the Vienna Secession.
February-March, 1904. Takes part in a major Impressionist exhibition at
the Salon de la Libre EsthÈtique in Brussels. With Vuillard visits Roussel
in Saint-Tropez where he meets Signac and Valtat. Publication of Jules
Renard's Histoires naturelles with sixty-seven drawings by Bonnard.
June-July, 1905. With Pierre Laprade and Maurice Ravel visits Belgium
and Holland. Visits Berlin in order to paint the portrait of Sophie
Herrmann, wife of the painter Curt Herrmann.
1906 February. Visits the South of France where he stays briefly with
Maillol at Banyuls. April, One-man show at Amboise Vollard's gallery
includes a table center piece in bronze, one of a number of bronzes
Bonnard made around this time. November, Shows forty-one works in
his first one-man exhibition in the new premises of the Galerie
June, 1907. Participates in group show at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune.
1908 Visits London with Vuillard. February, Travels to Algeria and
Tunisia. June 12-13, Vente ThadÈe Natanson at the Hotel Drouot.
The sale, which includes nineteen paintings by Bonnard, is shown at
the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune from June 10 to 11.
February, 1909. Exhibits thirty-six recent paintings at the Galerie
Bernheim-Jeune. June, Visits Saint-Tropez where he stays with
Manguin. From now on he makes annual visits to the South of France,
renting villas at Saint-Tropez, Grasse, Antibes, and at Le Cannet,
where he eventually buys a house in 1926.
March, 1910. Shows thirty-four paintings at the Galerie Bernheim-
Jeune. Exhibits the four decorative panels commissioned by Misia
Edwards at the Salon d'Automne.
May-June, 1911. Shows twenty-eight recent paintings at the Galerie
Bernheim-Jeune. Realizes a large triptych, MÈditerranÈe, for the house
of the Moscow collector Ivan Morosov. It is exhibited at the Salon de
1912 May-June. Shows thirty-one paintings at the Galerie Bernheim-
Jeune. August, Buys a small house, "Ma Roulotte," at Vernonnet, near
Vernon in the Eure. It is also near Giverny where Monet lives. Rents a
house in Saint Germain-en-Laye (40 rue Voltaire), where he spends
most of the First World War.
1913 Shows twenty-one recent works at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune.
November, Shows The Dining Room in the Country at the Salon
d'Automne. According to Apollinaire, it is one of the two most
widely admired works there, the other being Matisse's portrait
of his wife. Represented by one painting in the Armory show in
June 13, 1914. FÈlix FÈnÈon asks him to make a drawing of Rodin for
an album dedicated to the sculptor, who has agreed to sit for Bonnard.
1916 Begins works on four panels for the Bernheim-Jeune family
(completed in1920): Pastoral Symphony or Countryside, Mediterranean
or Monuments, Earthly Paradise, and Workers at the Grande Jatte or
The Modern City. Makes an etching of Renoir from a photograph
thought to have been taken by Monet. November, Visits Winterthur,
where fifteen of his paintings are included in an exhibition of
October-November, 1917. Shows two decorations and nine recent
paintings at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune.
1918 Bonnard and Renoir are chosen as Honorary Presidents by Le
Groupement de la Jeune Peinture FranÁaise. Meets RenÈe Monchaty
who models for him and will become his lover.
1919 Publication of two monographs: FranÁois Fosca, Bonnard
(Geneva) and LÈon Werth, Bonnard (Paris). Exhibits three
paintings at the Salon d'Automne.
1920 Shows one painting at the Salon des IndÈpendants. October,
Designs sets for a production by the Swedish Ballet Company of Jeux,
danced by Nijinsky, with music by DÈbussy. Contributes to the
purchase by the Louvre of Courbet's The Painter's Studio.
December, Spends three months with Manguin in Saint-Tropez.
May-June, 1921. Shows twenty-four paintings at the Galerie Bernheim-
Jeune including the four panels for the Bernheim-Jeune family.
1922 Publication of Gustave Coquiot's book on Bonnard with cover
design and seven vignettes by the artist. Represented at the Venice
Biennale. Falls ill with pneumonia.
1923 Awarded third prize and $500 at Carnegie International Exhibition,
Pittsburgh. June, Death of his brother-in-law, Claude Terrasse, and
shortly afterwards of his sister AndrÈe. November, Shows three
paintings at the Salon d'Automne.
April, 1924. Retrospective at the Galerie E. Druet which includes sixty-
eight paintings from 1891 to 1922. Publication of Claude Roger-Marx's
small monograph on Bonnard. Makes fifty-five etchings as illustrations
to Octave Mirbeau"s book, Dingo.
August 13, 1925. Marries Marthe in Paris. Does not inform his family.
* September 9, Suicide of RenÈe Monchaty.
February, 1926. Buys a hillside villa, which he names "Le Bosquet,"
at Le Cannet, above Cannes. Visits USA as member of the Carnegie
International Jury. Meets Duncan Phillips who becomes his most
important American collector. November-December, Shows twenty
recent paintings at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune.
1927 Publication of an important monograph by Bonnard's nephew,
Charles Terrasse, with a cover design by the artist. October-November,
Exhibits at Galerie Bernheim-Jeune.
April, 1928. One-man show at the de Hauke Gallery, New York,
Bonnard's first solo exhibition outside France. November-December,
Exhibition at Galerie Bernheim-Jeune.
January-March, 1930. Seven paintings included in Paintings in Paris
From American Collections at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Publication of Vollard's Sainte Monique for which Bonnard made
twenty-nine drawings, seventeen etchings, and 178 woodblocks.
November, Rents the Villa Castellamare at Arcachon. During his
six-month stay there he paints The Breakfast Room.
1933 June. After seeing Bonnard's exhibition at the Galerie Bernheim-
Jeune, which included twenty-six recent works, Signac writes him a
note of congratulations.
March, 1934. Exhibition of forty-four works at the Wildenstein Gallery,
February, 1935. Participates in Artistes de Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts,
Brussels. May 20-1. London to see his exhibition at the Reid & Lefevre
June, 1936. Exhibition in Paris, Portraits by Bonnard at Galerie Braun &
Co. The French State buys Corner of the Table from the Salon des
IndÈpendants. Awarded second prize at the Carnegie International
Exhibition in Pittsburgh. December, Represented by nineteen paintings
in exhibition shared with Vuillard at Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris.
June-October, 1937. Represented by a large group of works in Les
MaÓtres de l'art indÈpendant 1895-1937, at the Petit Palais.
December, 1938. Loan exhibition of paintings and prints by Bonnard
and Vuillard at the Art Institute of Chicago.
1939 February-April. Represented in Parijsche Schilders at the
Municipal Museum, Amsterdam. March, Fifty-one paintings included
in retrospective at Svensk-Franska Konstgalleriet, Stockholm.
April, 1940. Elected Honorary Academician by the Royal Academy of
Arts, London (nominated by Augustus John).
January 26, 1942. Death of Marthe Bonnard.
1943 Admitted to hospital suffering from severe congestion of the
lungs. A number of fakes having appearedon the market, agrees to
a suggestion madeby Jean and Henry Dauberville that they should
compile a catalogue raisonnÈ of the oils.
January, 1944. Publication of Bonnard: Seize Peintures 1939-1943 by
June-July, 1946. Shows thirty-six major works at the Galerie Bernheim-
Jeune. August, BrassaÔ visitsBonnard at Le Cannet, and photographs
the studio. Agrees to a large retrospective in 1947 to be organised
by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in celebration of his
eightieth birthday. The retrospective takes place in Cleveland and
New York between March and September 1948.
January 23, 1947. Bonnard dies at Le Cannet. August. Publication of a
special edition of Verve devoted to Bonnard, for which he had designed
the cover and frontispiece and chosen the decorative designs and
excerpts from his diaries.