After a hot, dry, summer, I cheered the recent return of rain to Portland. More than 100 years ago, French artist Pierre Bonnard captured the magic of a rainy night in Paris. In the foreground, a woman with a plumed hat trimmed with red flowers moves to the right. Behind her, another parisienne gingerly steps over a puddle that reflects the gaslit shops behind her. She holds a folded umbrella in her right hand, suggesting that the rain has paused, if only for an instant. Although nominally a city scene, Bonnard imparts a sense of enclosure, domesticity, and privacy to this glimpse of Paris by night. This color lithograph will be featured in the upcoming exhibition Private Lives: Home and Family in the Art of the Nabis, Paris, 1889–1900 opening on October 23. Come see it for yourself, and don’t forget your umbrella!
—Mary Weaver Chapin, Curator of Prints and Drawings
Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867–1947), Place le soir (The Square at Evening), from the series Quelques aspects de la vie de Paris (Some Aspects of Parisian Life), 1899. Color lithograph on paper. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by members of the Collections Committee in memory of Roger Meier, 2007.75