Here, Bonnard captured a bucolic summer day at the family estate in Le Grand-Lemps, a small town in the Isère region northwest of Grenoble. He was attached to the place, which belonged to his mother Elisabeth Mertzdorff. The first landscapes Bonnard painted were of the garden and park of the estate, and at the time of this picture, his sister Andrée and her husband, the composer Claude Terrasse, summered there. Five of their children, at play with two dogs and a cat, can be glimpsed through and over the balustrade.
Inscription: Signed (upper right): Bonnard
[Bernheim Jeune, Paris, 1909-10; purchased from the artist in 1909; sold on January 8, 1910 to Bernstein]; Henry Bernstein, Paris (from 1910); [reportedly Ambroise Vollard, Paris]; [Sam Salz, New York, until 1955; sold to Goldman]; Charles Goldman, New York (1955-d. 1966; his bequest to MMA with life interest to his widow, d. 2001)
Paris. MM. Bernheim Jeune & Cie. "Exposition Bonnard," March 7–26, 1910, no. 26 (as "Verdure").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Summer Loan Exhibition: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from Private Collections," July 8–September 6, 1966, checklist no. 4 (as "From the Balcony," lent by Mrs. Charles Goldman).
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 120.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat. (p. 244; as "Ins Grüne" or "Der Balkon").
Jean and Henry Dauberville. Bonnard: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Vol. 2, 1906–1919. Paris, 1968, p. 153, no. 543, ill., as "Verdure" or "Le Balcon (Au Grand-Lemps, Isère)".
Gloria Groom inCézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Ed. Rebecca A. Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, p. 99 n. 65, states that Vollard purchased this work directly from Bernstein.
Sabine Rewald inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 162, 180, no. 120, ill. (color and bw), identifies the scene as the Bonnard family estate in Le Grand-Lemps, a small town in the Isère region northwest of Grenoble, and the children as those of Bonnard's sister Andrée and her husband, Claude Terrasse.
Sabine Rewald inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 192, 214, no. 177, ill. (color and bw).