Bonnard hints at and outlines movement and attitudes; he does not record them, but lets us guess at them; he does not specify them: one gesture will, as soon as it occurs, be follwoed by another; he shows ithe gesture right at the start. – antoine Terrasse: Le Goût de notre Temps, albert skira, Lausanne 1964 (p.147) The theme of women at their toilette was often treated by 19th and 20th century artists. Beyond the common theme, and the similar compositions, adopted by Degas and Bonnard, what sets them apart is the artist’s total withdrawal from these portrayals. He does not appear in the composition, and his absence is underlined by the models’ immersion in their intimate everyday activity. in others, the model poses for the artist and turns towards him. sometimes the elaborate composition indirectly attests the artist’s presence. With Bonnard, as with Degas, the woman totally ignores the fact that a third party is drawing her. These ‘baths’ are carried out in a descriptive mode, accompanied by a total absence of narrative. This reinforces the intimacy and silence, and transcends the instantaneous naturalness of these visions. This is where the two masters part: Bonnard treats his subject differently from Degas. Whereas Degas sculpts and highlights bodily details, Bonnard dissolves or attenuates them – as in our gouache, with its delicious harmonies of red, orange and blue, full of softness, grace and poetry.
Dimanche 29 Mars 2015 à 14 h 30 / 111