The painter, illustrator and lithographer Pierre Bonnard was born in 1867 in the French village of Fontenay-aux-Roses. He has been observing drawing and sketching from a very early age, and will continue to do so throughout his life. This leads to him enrolling in the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but he soon switches to the Académie Julian, where work is done on the basis of models and where is room for freedom and experiment. Around 1889 he co-founded the high-profile avant-garde group Les Nabis, together with Maurice Denis, Édouard Vuillard, and Félix Vallotton, among others. Gauguin also joins them briefly. From 1895 Bonnard returned to Impressionism, but retains his bright use of color and preference for simplified forms. As a lover of nature, he often retreats to his home in Normandy; later he also discovers the light of the south of France. In 1927 he settled in the village of Cannet on the Cote d'Azur, where he died 20 years later.