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THE COLLECTION OF ALEX & ELISABETH LEWYT

Édouard Vuillard
MADAME VUILLARD AVEC UNE TASSE ROSE
Estimation
500 000700 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT
13

THE COLLECTION OF ALEX & ELISABETH LEWYT

Édouard Vuillard
MADAME VUILLARD AVEC UNE TASSE ROSE
Estimation
500 000700 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York

Édouard Vuillard
1868 - 1940
MADAME VUILLARD AVEC UNE TASSE ROSE
Stamped E. Vuillard (lower right)
Oil and tempera on board laid down on cradled panel
8 5/8 by 8 7/8 in.
22 by 22.4 cm
Painted circa 1893.
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Provenance

Galerie Renou et Colle, Paris (acquired in 1942)

Jacques Dubourg, Paris

Acquired from the above on May 12, 1971

Exposition

Paris, Galerie Hector Brame, Vuillard: Hommage à Madame Vuillard, 1953 (not included in catalogue)

Bibliographie

André Chastel, "Vuillard," Art News Annual, 23, New York, 1954, illustrated p. 46

Antoine Salomon & Guy Cogeval, Vuillard, The Inexhaustible Glance, Critical Catalogue of Paintings and Pastels, vol. I, Milan, 2003, no. IV-113, illustrated p. 289

Description

Vuillard spent the majority of his career studying interior spaces. Be they depictions of seamstresses in his mother’s studio or still-lifes in his own apartment, his compositions evidence his fascination with texture, pattern and warm light. The present work dates from the height of his involvement with the Nabis, when his exploration of the juxtapositions of patterns and the manipulation of spatial perspective were at their most radical. The subject depicted here is the artist’s mother, whom Vuillard lived with for much of his adult life until her death in 1928. “My mother is my muse” he once proclaimed, and indeed her presence in his art resulted in some of the most dynamic compositions in his career.  In many of these compositions during the 1890s onwards, Mme Vuillard herself became a feature of the interior space and her activities, such as sewing or mending, often complemented the aesthetic theme of her son’s pictures (fig 1).

Vuillard never tired of exploring the rich ambiguities contained in a domestic space, and the present composition is an eloquent example of this subject’s force. Vuillard’s predilection for domestic interiors finds a clear lineage in the works of the Dutch and French Old Masters. On his visits to the Louvre, the artist would have seen masterpieces by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin and Johannes Vermeer. Vuillard would seek a similar intimacy in his domestic scenes from the 1890s though he would use entirely different means. Breaking away from the naturalist precision of these masters, Vuillard sought a Symbolist interpretation that would infer rather than describe.

Elizabeth Wynne Easton suggests that the Symbolist literature published at the time was a significant influence in this regard, and particularly for the artist’s series of seamstress portraits: "In  fact,  these paintings of  women sewing constitute a visual  demonstration of Stéphane Mallarmé’s notion that one must express the effect something produces rather than the thing itself: 'To name an object is to suppress three-fourths of the enjoyment... to  suggest it, that is the dream.'... Although he blurred the individuality of his subjects in these works, Vuillard always rooted his Symbolist sensibility in the familiar..." (Elizabeth W. Easton, The Intimate Interiors of Edouard Vuillard (exhibition catalogue), Houston, Museum of Fine Arts; Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution, 1989, pp. 34-35).

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York