Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is proud and grateful to be able to present its latest acquisition: the painting Panier de fruits sur le buffet (Basket of Fruit on Sideboard) by French artist Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947). This 1924 still life was donated by a private collector this spring.
Bonnard was one of the leading lights of Les Nabis (‘The Prophets’) in the late nineteenth century. This group of young artists in Paris believed that the visible was a manifestation of a more important invisible world. Their work was based on intimate and spiritual experiences and emotions. Bonnard eventually evolved into one of the foremost colourists of the twentieth century, inspiring new generations of artists to exploit the power of colour to its utmost. Panier de fruits sur le buffet is displayed in the context of the existing collection of works on paper by Bonnard’s friends from Les Nabis, including Paul Gauguin, Maurice Denis, Édouard Vuillard, Félix Vallotton and Paul-Élie Ranson. The museum built this collection in the 1920s. In 2006 it acquired a drawing by Bonnard showing his wife Marthe in the bath, which is also being shown here for the first time along with the donated painting.
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag’s collection exists in large part thanks to the support of private individuals. Its now world-famous collection of paintings by Piet Mondrian for example was bequeathed by collector Salomon Slijper. The donation of Panier de fruits sur le buffet has enriched both the museum’s collection, and the nation’s art collection, and this presentation marks this important gift.