The subtitle, shown on this book cover (by Pierre Bonnard [1867-1947]) which graduated to fine-art lithograph, in 1892, runs “Ways of Decadence” [the Demi-Monde]. Though the smashing portfolio of Bonnard’s studies of Paris life covers much more than that dimension, it is the moments of far from perfect tuning which are of special interest to this posting. We love Paris not simply for its abundant prettiness but for the denizens’ so forthrightly and passionately expressing life as hugely out of control.
So we have, from the portfolio of glorious printed works–Bonnard Lithographe (Monte-Carlo, 1952)–“Reine de Joie,” the novel and the paragon, not having a good day. But her presence as trying to detach itself from a swamp of messy business (even if fairly upscale) gives us a wonderful day of truth, indeed. The color distribution is a model of classiness in the service of distress. Continue reading