Pierre Bonnard’s “The Open Window” is an oil-on-canvas painting from 1921 that depicts a natural landscape outside of a window. The painting is one of many by Bonnard that focuses on open windows, showing his fascination with the visual contrast between indoor and outdoor spaces. This particular work was painted from memory, giving it a dreamlike quality.
Bonnard was part of the Symbolist group of painters known as Les Nabis, and “The Open Window” demonstrates their principles of flat color areas. One notable aspect of the piece is its void in the center, which features the sky and foliage outside. This emptiness draws attention to the natural world beyond, highlighting Bonnard’s connection to nature.
“The Open Window” depicts a room in Bonnard’s house in Normandy, France. Rather than portraying figures in the room itself, the artist chose to focus on what lay beyond their midst instead. The canvas therefore serves as both an interior scene and a landscape simultaneously.
Today housed at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., “The Open Window” remains an example not only of Pierre Bonnard’s distinctive style but also his interest in depicting internal emotions through external scenes – here realized through color and shape rather than figuration or narrative storytelling.