Andr� Ostier, Pierre Bonnard, 1941, silver gelatin photograph (Detail)
Introduction | Gallery | Literature | Chronology | Glossary | Education Kit NGA logo
Pierre BONNARD | Mediterranean Landscape, Le Cannet [Paysage méridional, Le Cannet]
Click to enlarge
France 1867 – 1947
Mediterranean Landscape, Le Cannet
[Paysage méridional, Le Cannet]
oil on canvas
56.0 (h) x 47.5 (w) cm
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris Musée national d'art moderne, Centre de création industrielle
Answer the following questions:
  1. Above Bonnard’s house at Le Cannet was a canal that watered the olive groves.
    Can you see it?
  2. Name the main colours used. What mood do these colours convey?
  3. Look around the edges of the painting, listing each element that helps to frame the view.
  4. What elements of this scene are the result of human activities?
    Has Bonnard suggested that such human additions blend into the landscape?
    If so, how has he shown this?

Le Cannet is a northern suburb of Cannes, a resort town on the Côte d’Azur in southeast France. Situated on the slopes of the Provence Alps, Le Cannet looks out over Cannes, the Esterel Range and the Mediterranean.

Bonnard bought a house in Le Cannet in 1926 and he lived there permanently from about 1931 until he died in 1947. The structure at the bottom of the painting is almost certainly a footbridge over a nearby canal. Michel Terrasse, Bonnard’s great-nephew, relates how ‘A stony path climbing up behind the house led to the little Canal de la Siagne, which ran across the fields and olive groves where herdsmen tended their goats.’

Perhaps the track leads down the hill and links up with what could be a fork in the path at the base of the hill. In any case the viewer is plunged down the steep hillside to the level of the terracotta-tiled houses strewn over the wooded landscape of the valley between us and the distant hills or mountains.

As our eyes climb up the landscape, another question arises. Is that snow on a very high mountain range that we can see, or is it a luminous cloud bank?

Article authored by the NGA Education department
Introduction | Gallery | Literature | Chronology | Glossary | Education Kit
The Pierre Bonnard works on this page are reproduced with the permission of
ADAGP, Paris and VISCOPY Ltd, Sydney 2003.