Art: An Eye for Color

Pierre Bonnard's drawing was fuzzy and weak; the composition of his paintings was haphazard. He borrowed ideas at will from other painters, and frequently flubbed them. When he launched into a picture he just hoped for the best and was never quite sure how it would turn out. (Painting, he suggested, was rather like making hats.) Bonnard had neither Picasso's drive nor Matisse's decisiveness; yet his work rivaled theirs.

The last of the French impressionists, Bonnard spent his days putting on canvas the cool and fiery colors that flooded through his eyeglasses. Last year, at 79, he died (TIME, Feb. 3, 1947),...

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