Painted in 1938.
Dr. Marcel Monguin, Paris (acquired as a gift from the artist in 1939)
Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd, London (acquired from a French dealer)
Acquired from the above on June 26, 1968
Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, É. Vuillard, 1938, no. 221
Paris, Galerie Daber, 1947
Hamburg, Kunstverein; Frankfurt, Kunstverein; Zürich, Kunsthuas, Vuillard. Gemälde, Pastelle, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik, 1964, no. 86
London, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., Paris-London, 1968, no. 3
Vuillard spent his entire career studying the lure of interior spaces. Be they depictions of seamstresses in his mother’s studio or still-lifes in his own apartment, Vuillard never tired of exploring the variance of textures and patterns in the warm light of an indoor setting. The present work dates from the end of the artist’s career, after he had spent nearly forty years perfecting his interpretation of these scenes. In 1937, Vuillard became a member of the Institut de France. In the following year, during which the present work was painted, a large retrospective of his work was mounted at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Impressed by Vuillard's ability to still find success so late in his artistic career, the art critic Waldemar George wrote in reaction to this retrospective, "His oeuvre is a chronicle of Paris life; it is the mirror of a civilization" (quoted in Edouard Vuillard (exhibition catalogue), Washington, D.C., 2003, p. 470).
Regarding the present composition, the catalogue raisonné of the artist's work includes the following description: "A table laid with a violet cloth on which are set a yellow coffee-cup and saucer on a rectangular wooden tray and, behind these, a bright-yellow bouquet of mimosa in a coloured china vase. Slightly further back to the right can be seen a pot of jam on a dish and two oranges in a bowl. A beige, pleated curtain hangs down before the wall, and on the left is sketchily rendered piece of black furniture" (Antoine Salomon and Guy Cogeval, Vuillard The Inexhaustible Glance, Critical Catalogue of Paintings, vol. III, Milan, 2003, p. 1592).
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