One terrific way to provide unity and harmony is to restrict your palette, so your composition will have either a cool or warm feeling.
Bonnard does this in this delightful warm painting, and the viewer immediately responds to the temperature. We are then directed through the painting by very interesting considerations and I’m sure Bonnard is intentionally pushing our sense of harmony.
The strength of the striped half oval at the left is dominating almost to the point of disharmony and his solutions are very impressive. The two yellow stripes on the baby’s blanket. (she seems to be comforting a baby) We can’t help moving from the semi circle to the yellow cushion on the chair, and then to those two marvelous stripes. Do you feel their strength and how they balance the composition? They also direct us to the yellow partial oval at the upper left, which has a wonderful dark line taking us back to the striped tablecloth. Brilliant!
I should also point out the dark shapes at the left which hold us in the composition as well as the wonderful oval motif. Also note the the darkish shape with subtle stripes (very important) between the chairs, connecting the dog’s gaze with the mother and her baby.
We stay with the dog’s vigil, which of course is what Bonnard wants the us to enjoy. The sophistication of the composition permits this.