BONNARD, Pierre (1867-1947):

L’Arc de Triomphe, from Quelques aspects de la vie de Paris, a series of twelve prints

Lithograph printed in five colours, 1895-98. Roger-Marx 67; Una Johnson 10, 11; Bouvet 69. A vibrant, early proof impression before the addition of the green stone and removal of the registration points, with the dog sketched in the foreground and other lines near the peripheries later erased, with rust-brown colouration on the horses second and third from the left, and the face of the rider on the left. The brown of the trees is of a redder tone than in the main edition. Inscribed “État” in pencil. The portfolio was published in an edition of 100 by Ambroise Vollard; despite a date of 1895 on the cover, this was probably in 1899, the year Vollard first exhibited the series.
Provenance: Henri Petiet, with his stamp on the verso (Lugt 2021a)

A very fine, fresh impression with strong colours, on a full sheet of thin wove. Three old hinges at the top edge creating minor rippling, otherwise in excellent condition. 319 x 465mm. Sheet 410 x 530mm.




We have thus far identified the following states, of which ours is the earliest:
I As above II Still with the sketched dog and registration marks, with the addition of a green patch on the right but not yet on the left III Still with the sketched dog and registration marks, with both patches of green IV The green as above, the dog and registration marks erased, but before erasure of some lines at the edges of the composition, below right V These extraneous lines erased.

It is thought that Bonnard worked on this project over as many as three years, and in the course of this time he moved away from tightly-contained views, some through a window, to a more airy, sketchy, light-infused style as is found in this print. L’Arc de Triomphe reflects the excitement with the new, broad boulevards in Paris, and the equestrians seem to dash out into the open space. The famous arch seen in the distance is one of only two recognizable landmarks in the series.