The Game of Croquet is one of the first works by Pierre Bonnard, one of the founders of the Nabi group in 1888. It was exhibited in 1892 at the Salon des Indépendants under the title Twilight. The painting shows the garden of the family home, at Le Grand-Lemps, in Isère…The subject of the painting is Impressionist – the pleasure of a fine summer in the country. And yet Bonnard, “the very Japanese Nabi” as his friends called him, has painted the scene with areas of flat colour and ornamentation, no doubt inspired by the Japanese prints he was so fond of. The painting is an excuse to develop a varied green environment into which the white silhouettes are inserted.
“We were trying to go further than the Impressionists and their naturalist impressions of colour,” he said of his youthful years. “After all, art is not nature!”Musée d’Orsay
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Bonnard, Pierre, Colta Feller Ives, Helen Emery Giambruni, and Sasha M. Newman. 1989. Pierre Bonnard, the graphic art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. http://libmma.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15324coll10/id/92079 , (accessed 8 Nov 2018).
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