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House in a Courtyard (Maison dans la cour)

From an album of twelve prints, this cityscape shows one of the artist’s favorite views from his attic studio in Montmartre. Bonnard cleverly uses the window frame to create a flattened pictorial space that emphasizes the simple shapes and colors of the buildings on the opposite side of the courtyard. The work’s uncluttered design, limited palette, and oblique perspective not only reflect the influence of Japanese prints, but also the decorative patterning favored by Paul Gauguin and the Nabis group, of which Bonnard was a founding member. Just below the center of the composition, we see the only human presence—a woman hanging out laundry.

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes another Parisian cityscape by Bonnard, The Boulevards (Eskenazi Museum of Art 67.67).

Pierre Bonnard
French, 1867–1947
House in a Courtyard (Maison dans la cour), Plate 3 from Some Views of Parisian Life (Quelques aspects de la vie de Paris)
1895–96 (published 1899)
Color lithograph on paper
Image: 13 9/16 x 10 1/8 in. (34.4 x 25.7 cm); sheet: 20 5/16 x 15 9/16 in. (51.6 x 39.5 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 72.39.1