Monday, August 06, 2012

Edouard Vuillard, A Painter and his muses

1900 view of women in pl de Concorde
 This terrific view of Place de la Concorde is from the book called, Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard (Phillips Collection)

Woman in museum gallery
 Yesterday I went to The Jewish Museum to see Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and his muses, 1890 - 1940

 So many snapshots are included taken by Vuillard. He loved to include mirrors and their reflections in his paintings.

Photo of women at dinner table
 Here he's standing in the corner recording a luncheon. 'Vuillard sometimes used snapshots as studies or sketches toward paintings, but in their cropping, the relations of light and dark tones, and their unusual viewpoints, they bear the imprint of his personal aesthetic vision'.

Painting of 3 figures in a cafe
 The casual patterned, truncated quality of this painting is simplified like a photograph.

 A famous portrait of charmer Madame Misia Natanson, loved by all artists in Paris (Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Félix Vallotton, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Romain Coolus, Octave Mirbeau, Tristan Bernard, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel) at the time. There's an exhibit devoted to her on at the Musee d'Orsay if you're in Paris.

 Nearly 2,000 of Vuillard's small format photographs survive.

 Portrait head painted on cardboard by Vuillard.

Woman writing at her desk seen overhead
 Many of Vuillard's figures are caught in repose, reading, writing at a desk. 'As often in his work, there are passages where objects merge with ground and become nearly abstract...'

4 children with 2 adults in 1920s
 A family portrait with most of the figures reading...

Portrait of seated woman in tan colors
 Vuillard plays with 'lost and found' edges here so the figure merges often with the background color.

Woman reading holding tiny black dog
 'In this signature 'Nabi' work Vuillard embeds his figure in a compressed space packed with competing patterns and suppressed emotion...'(from the wall placard)

 Karen Wheeler introduced me to the Maire of Anche, Martine. When she sat down to write something in the town's books, I said to her,
'You're a Vuillard painting!'

 After seeing yesterday's exhibit I did my 'Vuillard' version of Maire Martine...

Vuillard's images of people reposing, reading and generally lounging about spells summer all over it. The exhibit is on until September 23rd. Don't miss it!


  1. I love Vuillard's work - wish I could see the exhibit. I visited the Phillips collection a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed spotting some Vuillard pieces. Love the family settings, too. Have a great week, Carol. xx

  2. Looks great, thanks for all the pics of paintings, a young friend of mine just moved to NYC yesterday, he going to be a dancer at Alvin Alley, I just texted him to let him know about this great exhibit....thanks again...Kate :)

  3. Love these images. Will be in NYC tomorrow in the National Academy of Design and the Met, with time to jump over to Jewish Museum and see this. I love Vuillard and the catalog is all I need, but it will be fun to see the exhibition .... Thanks for this reminder!

  4. Thanks for this coverage of the exhibit. Vuillard is one of my favorite painters (besides you, of course!)!



  5. I'm going to be in Paris in two days! I want to thank you for your continued inspiration and information.

  6. I like your paintings better than what's-his-name.

    Especially the one of the Maire!

    1. Oh mechante chat!
      I'm sure you love Debussy, their contemporary...

  7. I love how you put this post together, the vintage photos and the paintings intermingled.
    I didn't know about Vuillard, thanks for the education!

    1. The snapshots are like preparatory thumbnails for the paintings.
      They influence Vuillard's vision enormously I think...

  8. C, would love to come to NY to see this exhibit. My daughter and I actually met you last year at your exhibit at the Alliance in DC. Can you recommend a small affordable hotel in the NY city? . . .we hope to stay at the Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais as you mentioned in the Marais later this year (long awaited finally get to Paris trip!):)

    1. Paris is much easier than New York.
      Try Hotel Grand Union - 34 East 32nd St if you can get in.

    2. affordable is a special concept in New York city... here is a hotel that qualifies in midtown Manhattan. the Leo house , basic , originally a catholic guesthouse
      bonne chance, enjoy !

    3. U R sooo right Belgium! Paris IS cheaper - more small spaces. NYC is BIG hotels, chains etc.

  9. What sharp eyes you have to recognize a Vuillard in the making! Great painting!

    1. I sometimes wonder if every French person is a Vuillard painting waiting to happen.
      The French are more contemplative and still read real books...

  10. Martine is perfect Carol..What a treasure~

  11. Great paintings and insight of the exhibit.

  12. What a great show. Would love to see this in person. Love what you did with your painted vision. Fun post.

  13. Really enjoyed the lesson. Neat post!
    Your version of Maire is just charming!

  14. Geri, NJ11:30 PM

    Thx for the reminder of this exhibit; a while back I tore out a magazine's exhibit promo image with Mme. Natanson's portrait, loving the interesting layered effect and texture/patterns ~ and what a lovely portrait you've created of Maire Martine...She must be so happy about that.

  15. Musée d'orsay demain! Merci Carol!

  16. Maire Martine5:21 AM

    Dear Carol,
    Thank you very much for the beautiful pictures of me as a Vuillard and for the photos of the Vuillards at the museum.
    I was thinkingof you this morning:I saw in my magazine Marie France(September issue ;p 38) a stool made in the shape of macaroons!It is made by Taillardat.
    Thanks again!
    Best Regards,

  17. Your 'Vuillard' paintings of Maire Martine are lovely!
    Too bad the exhibition closes before I have a chance to see it.

    How small is this world, the Phillips Collection getting mentioned twice within 24 hours?

  18. how fabulous! way over here in Australia I can live my life vicariously through you Carol xx thank you for sharing your visit to the gallery - loved it and also you fabulous paintings. x

  19. He is one of my favorite artists--lovely, Carol! I really like your Vuillard-esque versions.


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