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Bonnard’s colour: the alchemy of light Dr Nicholas Watkins Tuesday 10 March 2020

During his long career Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) created a glorious light-filled art in which both past and present are fused within the expressive atmosphere of a vision.  This lecture explains how Bonnard, influenced by Gauguin, Japanese art and impressionism, loosened the connections between object, image and surrounding space and conveyed experience in totally unexpected ways.  Towards the end of his life he told a young painter: ‘Our God is our light.  A day will come when you understand what that means’.  The alchemy of light became his goal.


Nicholas Watkins studied in Florence, Vienna and at the Courtauld Institute of Art.  His numerous publications include Matisse (1984) Bonnard Colour and Light (1994).  Television involvement include the BBC film Pierre Bonnard: A Love Exposed, Omnibus 1998.  He regularly contributes to The Burlington Magazine and other leading journals and lectures extensively.