Young Woman at Her Toilette
Pierre Bonnard ( French, 1867 - 1947 )
Beginning around 1908 and continuing through the 1940s, Pierre Bonnard repeatedly depicted female nudes, particularly women bathing and getting dressed. Bonnard’s toilette scenes frequently include mirrors and reveal his fascination with complex representations of space and figures. Young Woman at Her Toilette presents the fragmented reflections of two women in a large horizontal mirror placed above a mantelpiece or table lined with common household objects. Behind the nude on the left is a second mirror reflecting the standing figure’s buttocks and thighs. A large painting of a reclining nude by Bonnard’s friend Maurice Denis hangs in the background. By eliminating the reflection of the artist or viewer, Bonnard created a multilayered visual play between reality and reflection, depth and surface.