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Jean Planque

Pierre Bonnard

(1867 – 1947)

“Bonnard is dazzlement, color, light devouring, distorting everything. His work has a miraculous vital intensity yet remains completely accessible. One is arrested by that luminous unreality of his, that visual happiness, that extraordinarily real world, that happiness in being alive and seeing” (Jean Planque, Diary, 12 December 1973).Planque received this
Torso of a Woman in Profile as a commission from the Zurich art dealer Tanner, for whom he had worked. It was doubtless the composition’s modest size and simplicity that appealed to the frugal Planque. Yet this small canvas seems to concentrate all of Bonnard’s art, the vibrant touches rendering the outlines of bare flesh illuminated by the blaze of the fluid atmosphere bathing it, projected against the sides of a room treated in an array of hues extending from bluish white to emerald green and purple. An inner light and that of the world outside are caught in the movement of the shadows and flames that give the young woman’s body a fleeting blush here, there a duskiness.

Torso of a Woman in Profile, c. 1918

Oil on canvas

61.5 x 37 cm (24.2 x 14.6 in)

© 2017, ProLitteris, Zurich