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The Colour of Memory


As soon as I heard that Pierre Bonnard was exhibiting at the Tate Modern I bought tickets with alacrity. The exhibition exceeded my expectations. I loved his use of saturated colours – mauves, blues, the staggering range of yellows, reds and whites and often used in just one object or section of the painting at a time. He has been described as an 'intimist' often portraying everyday scenes in his home and of his wife Marthe, although from this he manages to create interesting compositions.


My favourite experience was his way of often hiding characters in his painting to the viewer. Bonnard's pictures need to be looked at very slowly to disentangle one form from another. Over and over you find yourself discovering the presence of people, animals and objects in a canvas only after staring at it for minutes.



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