Self Portrait by Pierre Bonnard

One of my favourite artworks at the Art Gallery of NSW is this deceptively simple painting, Self Portrait by Pierre Bonnard, circa 1938 – 1940, located in the 19th and 20th century European galleries on the ground floor.
In a room containing the huge and ultra-weird Nude in a Rocking Chair by Picasso, a dreamlike Cezanne and fleshy, crowd-pulling Lucian Freud, the small Bonnard hangs beside a doorway, like a shy guest at a party.
Shy but not unaware, he has bathed himself in gold light, drawing me in….to his face…his hands.. so quietly yet powerfully beckoning. It’s no wonder he’s known as the Master of intimacy.
Every time I see it, it’s like meeting up with an old friend again.

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