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Creator Name: Cezanne, Paul
Creator Dates/Places: French, 1839 - 1906
Creator Name-CRT: Paul Cezanne
Title: Still Life with Carafe, Milk Can, Coffee Bowl and Orange
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1879
Creation End Date: 1882
Creation Date: 1879-82
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 10 1/2 x 13 3/4 x 3 in. (26.67 x 34.92 x 7.62 cm.) Framed dimensions: 21 1/4 x 23 3/4 in. (53.97 x 60.33 cm.)
AMICA Contributor: Dallas Museum of Art
Owner Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
ID Number: 1985.R.10
Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
Context: There is no pictorial connoisseur of Paris streets more delicate and humorous than Pierre Bonnard. In the early 1890s, Bonnard began a series of small paintings (exhibited at Durand-Ruel's gallery in 1897) in which he transcribed human - and canine - "moments" that he observed in Paris. For Bonnard, the accidental encounter between a tiny schoolboy lugging his satchel and an old woman wither hands buried in a fur muff caused such intense delight that he transcribed it - either from memory or through the medium of a pencil sketch - onto this small panel. Bonnard analyzes every subtle aspect of the encounter as he contrasts the monolithic shape of the woman with the boy's cantilevered coat, supported by toothpick legs stuffed into oversized boots. The river of creamy-beige paint that runs between them allows their contours to interlock without touching, and Bonnard compares this meeting to the public confrontation of two poodles (a male and a female, no doubt). To whom, we ask, do these dogs belong? Surely one is the beloved property of the old woman, while the other must have escaped from the bourgeois couple directly behind her. Soon, we know, this encounter of dogs will provoke an unplanned - and utterly urban - encounter of humans, which will occur after the little boy disappears from the field of vision.This delightful narrative is given an ominous twist by the juxtaposition of these figures with the two couples in the foreground. We are initially tantalized by the middle-ground figures and dismiss the two bourgeois men, whose backs fill nearly half of the panel, as simply "repoussoir" figures, or the compositional devices to draw us into the picture. Yet, when we look more carefully, we see that these two men stand before a pair of "painted" women, whose faces indicate that their bodies are for sale. Thus, the transaction on the left of Bonnard's picture is dominated by darkness, while the freer, more natural, and seemingly innocent interactions on the right occur in the full light of day.This brilliantly conceived social cityscape is among the tiny masterpieces of Bonnard's Nabi years, and its quality was recognized by the single greatest collector of Nabi art, the Polish émigré writer and entrepreneur Thadée Natanson, editor of "La Revue blanche." When Natanson sold most of his possessions in 1908, this panel was snapped up by the important dealer and critic Félix Fénéon. Few small panels by Bonnard have had a more distinguished provenance."Impressionist Paintings Drawings and Sculpture from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection," page 111
AMICA ID: DMA_.1985.R.10
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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