The Breakfast Room
On View: European Art Galleries, 5th floor
Painting the quiet spaces and familiar routines of his household, Pierre Bonnard was interested in translating the experience of “what one sees when one enters a room all of a sudden.” He achieved this not by working directly in front of his motif, but from memory, reimagining—often through a lens of longing or nostalgia—his initial perception of the scene’s colors, shapes, and textures. Although Bonnard was long misunderstood as a “painter of happiness” because of his intimate, domestic subjects and bright palette, some of his paintings, including this one, actually reveal themselves to be much more ambiguous portrayals of detachment and solitude.
Oil on canvas
25 3/4 x 42 1/2 in. (65.4 x 108 cm)
Frame: 33 1/2 x 50 1/2 x 4 in. (85.1 x 128.3 x 10.2 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower right: "Bonnard"
Frank L. Babbott Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, and A. Augustus Healy Fund
Prior provenance not yet documented; before 1933, reportedly purchased from the artist by Jos Hessel of Paris, France; before 1933, sold at Valentine Gallery of Modern Art, New York, NY; by June 1, 1933, acquired by Frank Crowninshield of New York; October 20-21, 1943, purchased at Parke-Bernet, New York, Crowninshield sale no. 84 by M. Knoedler and Company for the Brooklyn Museum.
Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867-1947). The Breakfast Room, ca. 1925. Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 42 1/2 in. (65.4 x 108 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, and A. Augustus Healy Fund, 43.202. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 43.202_PS11.jpg)
overall, 43.202_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2022
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