HomeBonnard's LifeChronology
1867 October 3. Pierre Eugène Frédéric Bonnard was born at Fontenay-aux-Roses, a Paris suburb, to François Eugène Bonnard and Elizabeth Lélia Mertzdorff.

1885 November 7. In a letter to his father, Bonnard tells him that he has decided to enroll in the law school, "Ecole de Droit" and to devote his free time to the serious study of painting.

1887 Enrolls at the Académie Julian in Paris where he meets Paul Sérusier, Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Paul Ranson and Maurice Denis. February 14, Applies for admission to the École des Beaux-Arts and is admitted on March 11.

1888 Gains his "licence en droit". Paul Sérusier meets Gauguin at Pont-Aven in Brittany and under his direction paints a small landscape constructed of flat areas of pure color. He shows it to his friends at the Académie Julian and together they form a group calling themselves "Nabis" (the Hebrew word for prophets). Sérusier's painting becomes known as The Talisman.

1889 Bonnard competes unsuccessfully for the Prix de Rome. Around this time he meets Ker-Xavier Roussel and Edouard Vuillard. Wins first prize in a poster competition.

This chronology, compiled by Sarah Whitfield, has been excerpted from the exhibition catalogue.


©1998 The Museum of Modern Art, New York