Original Pierre Bonnard lithograph.
Scarce variant image designed for Vollard's edition of Daphnis and Chloe, but unused in the published edition. Rare proof impression on loose-leaf China paper with wide margins, aside from the only published edition of 50 impressions of the six variant lithographs, printed on trimmed sheets of China paper with reduced margins.
Exceptional strong printing of this scarce print, especially rare as a proof with wide margins.
Pierre Bonnard's illustrations for the pastoral poem, Daphnis and Chloe, by Longus, were the direct result of his work on Parallelement for the publisher Ambroise Vollard. Immediately after Parallelement had been completed Vollard was so pleased with the result that he requested Pierre Bonnard create another series of illustrations for him: "I started the lithographs for Daphnis and Chloe, of a more classical inspiration. I worked rapidly and with enjoyment; Daphnis was able to appear in 1902. On each page I evoked the shepherd of Lesbos with a sort of happy intoxication that quite carried me away..." (P. Bonnard to Marguette Bouvier).
The sheer variety, lightness of touch, and spontaneity of Pierre Bonnard's designs for this work distinguish these delightful compositions as amongst the most expressive of all of the artist's superb illustrative designs. Early proofs for Daphnis and Chloe, such as the example offered here, are rare. Proofs of this nature are both fascinating in showing the creative process of the artist and are amongst the most wonderfully spontaneous and freely handled of all of Pierre Bonnard's original lithographs.
On fine cream chine volant paper with wide margins. Very fine original condition.