Maison dans la Cour
in the Courtyard]
Commissioned by Ambrois Vollard to create an album of 12 color lithographs, Quelques Aspects de la Vie de Paris, Bonnard created this important lithograph as a snapshot view from his flat, a version of his picture, "Les Toits" (see Dauberville, N° 154), and with certain details from "Rue Tholozé" (see Dauberville, N° 155)
Bonnard undertook this project enthusiastically and we know of several working proofs attesting to this.*
The present impression is of
the utmost rarity; the first state is characterized by the two apparent
registration marks above and below (used to align the different color
stones), an incomplete borderline, a sketchy treatment of the gables on
the far building, and to a lesser extent, the beige roofs on the
buildings above right and, below in the courtyard, lower left.
The extensive pencil
retouching here notably concerns shading on the window panes, left, and
additional shutters sketched in next to the leftmost windows on the far
building; there is other work on several of the windows.
The finished state uniformly flattened a number of the color fields:
- the beige gables and roofing (above right and below left),
- the large open window jamb, left, and the windowsill in the lower foreground, to uniform color fields,
Furthermore it rectified the border ine, effacing the registration marks, and added lithographed shading on the window panes. The additional shutters to the far left were not retained. Other work was completed on several windows and downspouts on the far building.
We have been able to locate only one equivalent trial proof impression of this first state, now in the Van Gogh Museum, which also has similar pencil retouching. (See right, and http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/prints/collection/p2443V2004)
* Cf. the note 60 in Ives, Giambruni, and Newman, Pierre Bonnard, the Graphic Art, 1989, who notably identify a similarly retouched impression (of the second state?) in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. (See http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/62244?search_no=2&index=1)