Art: The Master & the Prodigy

In his declining months 80-year-old Pierre Bonnard gave Thursdays and Saturdays to the future. On those days a green-eyed, curly-haired little boy came running up the road to Bonnard's villa, just outside of Cannes, for a talk about painting. Solemn little Edouard Capra, who is now only ten, always brought along a dilapidated schoolbag full of paints and brushes, and—wrapped in newspapers under his arm,—a new painting to show the master.

Bonnard was France's last strong link with the great 19th Century French impressionists. Now he had a prodigy to warm his heart. "Edouard," Bonnard predicted, "will be the French painter of...

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