Monday, 2 May 2011

Bite 101: Pierre Bonnard - Woman Lying on a Bed, 1899

Woman Lying on a Bed, 1899, oil on canvas, 96 x 106 cm, Musée d'Orsay
The bed - a landscape, tilted toward the viewer, with post-coital sheets bathed in soft late afternoon light.

The woman - Marthe, the artist's bath obsessed, highly-strung muse (and later wife), dozes, tautly, her left leg at a right angle to her right, exposing her sex.

Smoke from a pipe rises before her, evidence of the the artist (and voyeur), Bonnard.

This is the distillation of a moment, filled with intensity in its atmospheric portrayal.  A domestic world, layered with private meaning.