Pierre Bonnard ( French, 1867 - 1947 )
Pierre Bonnard designed this lithograph as the cover for an album of prints published by L’Estampe originale, a French avant-garde magazine aimed at middle-class art collectors. Composed of twelve lithographs, the album was produced in collaboration with La Revue Blanche, another arts periodical that had published the images in successive issues over the previous year. In the 1890s, progressive journals became a venue for artists to both advertise their work and hone their aesthetic styles. Here, Bonnard portrays a woman training her high-spirited dog. Her striking black silhouette cuts vertically through the erratic lettering of the album’s title, disrupting the placement of words across the page. Unlike traditional illustrations, where images appear next to their corresponding text, here text and figure are liberated, with the woman and words playfully intertwined. Some editions of the portfolio were bound with a cord, which might explain the small holes on the front and back side of this cover.