The Dessert (or 'After Dinner') (1921)
by Pierre Bonnard

This is a rather quiet painting of a sunny, everyday domestic scene of a couple enjoying coffee and tid-bits, either breakfast or sweets after a meal. The model for the woman was Bonnard's own wife, Marthe. The painting shows Bonnard's characteristically flamboyant use of colour.

It is not exactly a picture that encapsulates the Roaring Twenties and yet this is the tumultuous period that Charles and Virginia find themselves in at the prime of their lives. Virginia finds herself trapped in a new but floundering marriage with a husband who treats her coldly and absently. She thinks incessantly about packing her bags and leaving.




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