Lot 157
  • 157

Édouard Vuillard

1,000,000 - 1,500,000 USD
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  • Edouard Vuillard
  • MADAME VUILLARD un jour de neige
  • Stamped E. Vuillard (lower right)

  • Glue-based distemper on card

  • 28 3/4 by 24 3/8 in.
  • 73 by 62 cm


Donated by the artist for a charity sale in aid of the Fraternité des Artistes, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, April 1918
Marcel Kapferer, Paris, circa 1924
Wildenstein, New York (probably on consignment from the above through Daniel Wildenstein, son-in-law of the above)
Millicent A. Rogers, New York, acquired orm the above in 1942
Thence by descent to the present owner


Paris, Hôtel de la Curiosité et des Beaux Arts, Premièrs Exposition de Collectionneurs, 1924, no. 129
Prague, Francouzski moderni umeni, 1931, no. 507
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, 1932, no. 169 (titled Intérieur avec vielle femme cousant)
Paris, Petit Palais, Maitres de l'art indépendants, 1937, no. 23 (titled Vielle dame à sa fenêtre)
Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Edouard Vuillard, 1938, no. 160
The Cleveland Museum of Art; New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Edouard Vuillard, 1954, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Wildenstein, Vuillard, 1964, no. 51, illustrated in the catalogue


Andre Chastel, Vuillard, 1868-1940, Paris, 1946, illustrated pp. 79 & 85
Claude Roger-Marx, Vuillard, His Life and Work, New York, 1946, p. 66
Antoine Salomon & Guy Cogeval, Vuillard, The Inexhaustible Glance. Critical Catalogue of Paintings and Pastels, vol. III,  Paris, 2003, no. X-163, illustrated p. 1255


The piece has some small areas of wear along the edges and in particular at the corners. There is an area with a series of foxing marks at the upper right (to the left of the framed picture). Cracklure runs along most of the right edge and is also evident in the bottom of the frame of the picture at the upper right (the pigment remains quite secure). Finally, there is a small spot (approx. ½ inch) that appears to be inpainted, it is found 4 inches down and 6 inches in from the upper right corner. The following condition report has been provided by Alan Firkser of Paper Conservation Studio, Inc., an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Madame Vuillard un jour de neige is one of many portraits that Vuillard painted of his mother, Marie Justine Alexandrine Michaud, whom he called his muse. Following the death of her husband in 1883, Mme. Vuillard moved her corset-making shop to her home, where Vuillard lived with her until her death in 1928.

According to Elizabeth Wynne Easton, "As early as November 1888 Vuillard filled a page of his journal with scenes of women working by lamplight around a table. Although these images were not transformed into paintings until a few years later, they nonetheless were a compelling subject for him from the time he began to think of himself as an artist. It is perhaps no coincidence that on the same journal page Vuillard made reference to the works in the Louvre of Jan Steen and Chardin and included a sketch of a painting by Johannes Vermeer. The intimate and sometimes disturbing depictions of daily life that characterize the works of these Dutch masters and the quiet power of Chardins's images of governesses and serving maids form the art historical background to Vuillard's scenes of women at work in his mother's atelier" (The Intimate Interiors of Edouard Vuillard, p. 26).

In keeping with the Nabis tenets of painting, the viewer's visual experience is heightened by the bold application of color, including the brilliant purple in Mme Vuillard's blouse, golden sundrenched curtains, blazing white snow set against the black cast iron balustrade, and the rich saturated red of the tablecloth, with its jumbled still life of papers, floral arrangment, and scattering of objets. This highly personal portrait is a poignant tribute to the artist's consummate supporter and muse set in the home they shared.