Les Boutiques, boulevard des Batignolles by Pierre Bonnard, 1911
Carol Vogel of the New York Times reports last night was a bleak night at Christie's in both sales and prices. It seems the economic meltdown has hit the auction season. She writes:
"In a hushed salesroom at Christie’s on Wednesday night, works by a wide range of artists, from Manet, Cézanne and Renoir to Rothko and de Kooning, failed to sell, and prices for things that did find buyers often went for far less than what they would have a year ago. " (more)
One of the pieces that failed to find a home was Pierre Bonnard's Les Boutiques, boulevard des Batignolles which was estimated at $1,000,000 - $1,500,000. Given the anticipation for the Metropolitan's January 2009 exhibition, Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors, it may be surprising this "Japonized Nabi" vertical painting did not sell.
Christie's calls it "muted," but I think it is just too muddy for a million dollars. In these bargain basement times, I would wait for a Bonnard late interior (1923 - 1947) when he was painting in the dazzling light of southern France, not winter in Paris. And, of course, I would wait for his Dachshund to make an appearance!
The Bathroom by Pierre Bonnard, 1932
Speaking of the dazzling light of southern France, descendants of Bonnard's second cousin, the late Robert Saums of Hoepwell, New Jersey, recently introduced a new line of paint inspired by their famous French family member. It is available through their store Saums Interiors.
They also offer copies of his work and design advice to help you create a Bonnard interior in your home. Brilliant!
Pierre Bonnard's Dachshunds