Pierre Bonnard should have told the kid to knock it off

I saw this 4 panel lithograph by Pierre Bonnard at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. last fall, in an exhibition titled “Bonnard to Vuillard: The Intimate Poetry of Everyday Life; The Nabi Collection of Vicki and Roger Sant.” The piece is titled “Nannies’ Promenade or Frieze of Carriages,” circa 1896, and came from Bonnard’s observation of women and children in the streets of Paris. But let’s look a little more closely at what’s going on here … (scroll down for more)

4 panel lithograph of nannies and kids by Pierre Bonnard

If you look closely at the 3 figures in the foreground, on the right side, you’ll see the nanny with kids on either side of her, both of whom are “hoop rolling” down the street (detail below right). As Bonnard captures this scene, he also notices a small dog accompanying this trio (below left), who seems terrified at the hoop that is closing in on him from behind! I hope Bonnard told the kid to stop scaring the dog!

Detail of a Pierre Bonnard lithograph showing a boy and his dog

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