Van Gogh •
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Pierre Bonnard was born in Fontenay-aux-Roses not far
from Paris. He was a law student before transferring to the Beaux-Arts, and he later attended the Académie Julian.
There he met Denis, Sérusier, and Vuillard, among others, and in about 1891 he joined their group, known as the Nabis (prophets). They called Bonnard the Japanese Nabis because of his interest in the works of Gauguin. (who was strongly influenced by the art of the Far East) and in the Japanese prints that Sérusier had brought from Pont-Aven. Bonnard's earliest works were theatrical sets, furniture decorations, screens, and posters, for he shared a studio with the theatrical producer Lugné-Poë, and with Vuillard and Denis. He also contributed regularly to the periodical La Revue Blanche, made a set of lithographs based on aspects of life in Paris for Ambroise Vollard, and did illustrations for books. He had his first exhibition of paintings in 1896.