Bonnard (Integration, Rhythm and Motifs)

Pierre Bonnard - After the Meal - 1925 - 117 x 114 cm - 46 x 45 in - oil on canvas

While perusing this painting I remember asking myself.  Why is the wine bottle shape  off kilter?  And thanks to considering composition before subject, I realized the bottle shape had to be adjusted to harmonize (rhythm) and support the figure leaning over the table.

I continued to let Bonnard lead me through his poetic composition.  I love how he integrated the figure with the dark vertical connecting with the blue line in her sweater.  Then how your eye is carried down the edge of the tablecloth to her shoes. Note how the stripes on her skirt parallel the edge of the table, another rhythm.

Another beautiful integration is the dark horizontal which connects to her head.  Then you are taken along the blue line to the other figure at the left.

This figure is a superb example of his sophisticated use of motifs.  She is actually occupies a rectangle and is actually a rhythm of rectangles herself.   It may help if you blur your vision.

The rectangle motif is dominant and is supported by a sub motif of ovals

Also note how the bottom of the smaller figure’s dress integrates with the table top.

There are many other beautiful notes to enjoy such as his sophisticated use of colour.

Let me finish with the bottles.  Do you feel how the dark vertical supports them in size and value?




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