I went to see the Bonnard exhibition the other day at the newly-reopened museum of modern art in paris. It was interesting. i didn’t know so much about bonnard, and after reading John Banville’s The Sea I was curious to see what mr. Bonnard’s paintings were actually like. (i should mention, of course, that I’ve been reading mr. banville’s books for at least fifteen years now, well before his well-deserved win of the booker prize).
But Bonnard! While european cities burned, while millions were killed, he spent his time in his normandy house, painting and re-painting his wife in the bath. oblivious to the passage of time, to passing fads in art and culture, intent only on perfectly preserving that one instant, a woman’s body in water. Sometime in this century or the last, and always at the same age.