Edouard Vuillard

Few artists are so widely admired as Édouard Vuillard was during his lifetime. An astute observer of social and domestic dynamics, Vuillard’s vast oeuvre emphasised the psychology of a scene at hand. A prominent member of the French avantgarde, Vuillard remained throughout his career committed to the theme of the everyday.

Vuillard was born in 1868 in Cuiseaux, France. When he was 15 his father died, forcing his mother to find work as a seamstress to support her family. She developed a true appreciation for the craft, a dedication which indelibly marked the teenager and likely encouraged his interest in the decorative arts.

In 1886, at the age of 18, Vuillard enrolled first at the Académie Julian and then later the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Shortly thereafter, he helped to establish Les Nabis (Hebrew for ‘Prophets’) alongside Pierre Bonnard, Paul Sérusier and Félix Vallotton. Inspired by Paul Gauguin, Les Nabis embraced a symbolic approach to colour; admired Japanese woodcuts; applied their paint in a manner underscoring the flatness of the canvas; and sought to marry the decorative and fine arts. Vuillard and Bonnard — who shared a studio — focused particularly on bourgeois domestic scenes, which led them to be known as intimists.

Vuillard said, ‘I don't paint portraits, I paint people in their homes,’ and throughout his career, he often worked with private clients and enjoyed friendships with many of his patrons. In the 1890s, through his association with La revue blanche, the literary magazine, he befriended Thadée and Misia Natanson, who went on to be depicted in and commission several works from the artist including the five decorative panels known collectively as The Album (The Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Following their divorce, Vuillard developed a rapport with the art dealer Jos Hessel and his wife, Lucie — with whom he embarked upon a decades-long affair — and again set several of his interior scenes in their Parisian apartment. An eminent portraitist, Vuillard painted a variety of people including the couturier Jeanne Lanvin and Comtesse Jean de Polignac as well as several artists that he admired including Bonnard, Aristide Maillol and Maurice Denis.

With their gestural brushwork and attention to light, Vuillard’s paintings could resemble Impressionist canvases, but they retained a personal, almost biographical quality absent in his predecessors’ work. This is evident in his cycle of work devoted to the Place Vintimille and its environs, a neighbourhood where the artist had spent time as a child. In 1908, Vuillard and his mother had moved to an apartment overlooking the square which was often filled with tourists, flâneurs, and children. For the next 20 years, Vuillard would paint, draw and photograph the small park from every possible angle.

Alongside his painterly practice, Vuillard maintained an interest in printmaking and the graphic arts. He began to learn lithography in 1891 at the Imprimerie Edward Ancourt and likewise developed an interest in photography, a medium he pursued with zeal. Accordingly, his photographic output was expansive and privileged spontaneity over more formally composed images. Vuillard never exhibited his photographs.

In 1938, the artist’s retrospective was held at the Pavillon de Marsan (now the Musée des Arts Decoratifs) in Paris. That same year, Vuillard was commissioned to paint a mural for the Palais des Nations in Geneva. These were to be the valedictory achievements of his final years: persuaded to leave Paris in advance of the German invasion, Vuillard passed away in June 1940.

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Misia et Vallotton à Villeneuve

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

La table de toilette

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Fillettes se promenant

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Les couturières

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Autoportrait à la canne et au canotier

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

La femme au fauteuil (Misia et Thadée Natanson)

爱德华·维亚尔 (1868-1940)

《巴黎街道(为亨利·伯恩斯坦而作的挂屏:第二组,文蒂米利亚广场)》

爱德华·维亚尔 (1868-1940)

《巴黎街道(为亨利·伯恩斯坦而作的挂屏:第一组,帕西区)》

Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

La balayeuse, 346 rue Saint-Honoré

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Autoportrait au miroir de bambou

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Yvonne Printemps au fauteuil

EDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)

Marie rêveuse et sa mère

爱德华·维亚尔 (1868-1940)

《道路上的清洁工》

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Les Lilas (Le bouquet schématique)

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Intérieur aux rocking-chairs

EDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)

Vallotton chez les Natanson

EDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)

Portrait de Madame Delierre, dit Symphonie en rouge

JAMES ENSOR (1860-1949)

Au Conservatoire

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Biana Duhamel dans le rôle de "Miss Helyett"

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Intérieur, trois femmes en conversation

EDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)

Vuillard au col blanc

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Aux Pavillons à Cricqueboeuf. Devant la maison

Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Le grenier de la Grangette à Valvins

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Square Berlioz (La Place Vintimille)

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

La maison suisse

ÉDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)

Marie penchée sur son ouvrage

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Intérieur aux rocking-chairs

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Lucie Belin dans l'atelier

ÉDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)

Enfant avec gobelet

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Le concert matinal, place Vintimille

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Géraniums et boules-de-neige

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Lucie Hessel lisant

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

La lecture dans la salle à manger, Vaucresson

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Nature morte avec bouteille et carafe

Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Tasse et mandarine

Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Le matin au jardin, Clos Cézanne

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Roses dans un pichet

Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Madame Hessel lisant le journal le soir

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Madame Hessel dans sa chambre au Château des Clayes

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Jeune femme à la fenêtre et fleur

Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

Lucy Hessel et Lulu, rue de Naples dit 'Le Télégramme"

ÉDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)

Les Anémones sur une petite table