France 1867 – 1947
Paris, Île-de-France, Ville de Paris department, France
Materials & Technique: prints, posters, colour lithographic poster lithograph, printed in yellow and black inks. Publisher: ANCOURT, E & CIE
Place Published: Paris
Date Published: 1891
France-Champagne was Pierre Bonnard’s first commercial success as an artist. It won him an award and propelled him into prominence in the Paris art world. Bonnard helped to establish a new style of decoration influenced by Japanese woodblock prints, which was important for the emergence of new art movements of the time, including art nouveau.
The Japanese influence is quite apparent in France-Champagne. His depiction of a solitary female subject and his use of a contrastingly dark calligraphic line are reminiscent of the Ukiyo-e prints that Bonnard collected.
The 100 francs Bonnard was awarded for the poster gave him the confidence to quit his job as a barrister. It even convinced his sceptical father that indeed he might have had what it took to be an artist. Looking back, Bonnard remarked of posters: ‘Our generation always sought to link art with life. At that time I personally envisaged a popular art that was of everyday applications.’
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra