Sacha Guitry and Charlotte Lysès, Paris (a gift from the artist)
Pierre and Huguette Bères, Paris (sold: Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, October 26, 1960, lot 77)
Anne Burnett Tandy, Fort Worth, Texas (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 5, 1981, lot 211)
Stanley Seeger, Sutton Place, England
Private Collection (acquired from the above and sold: Sotheby’s, New York, November 18, 1986)
Private Collection, Boston (acquired at the above sale)
Sale: Christie’s, New York, May 16, 1990
Ahoyama Gallery, Tokyo
Private Collection (sold: Sotheby’s, New York, May 13, 1998, lot 37)
Acquired at the above sale
Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, É. Vuillard, 1938, no. 228 (titled Un artiste dans sa loge)
Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Vuillard, 1938, no. 18
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art; The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais; London, Royal Academy of Arts, Édouard Vuillard, 2003-04, no. 302
Claude Roger-Marx, Vuillard et son temps, Paris, 1946, illustrated p. 186
Antoine Salomon and Guy Cogeval, Vuillard, The Inexhaustible Glance, Critical Catalogue of Paintings and Pastels, vol. II, Paris, 2003, no. IX-173, illustrated p. 1121
The theatrical world became increasingly important to Vuillard as part of the bourgeois circle in which he circulated. His involvement with the theatre included the design of playbills, the illustration of programs and the painting of stage sets. Actors and playwrights were among Vuillard’s intimate friends and the experiences of visiting the theater undoubtedly influenced the stage-like space of his interior views after 1900, in which figures are often placed to suggest dramatic tableaux.
Along with Tristan Bernard, Henry Bernstein and Porto-Riche, Sacha Guitry was among the most popular boulevardiers. These were the writers of bourgeois comedies which formed the staple repertoire of the boulevard theaters in the 1910s.
Guitry was a good friend of Vuillard, and wrote and acted in many plays. Guitry included Vuillard’s painting Matin ensoleillée in his play La prise de Berg-op-Zoom which opened in October 1912 at the Théâtre de Vaudeville. The painting also decorated the set of Guitry’s play Un beau mariage with other works by Bonnard, Roussel and Van Dongen from the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune to suggest bourgeois-décor.
In April 1912, the year the present work was executed, Vuillard received one of his most important commissions, the decoration of the foyer of the Théâtre de la Comédie, a theater within the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, conceived by Gabriel Astruc. Other artists who worked on the commission were Denis, Lebasque and Roussel, whose efforts were designed to create a ‘Temple of Art’ where the latest in dance, music and drama would be showcased.
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