Lot 145
  • 145

Édouard Vuillard

Estimate
100,000 - 150,000 USD
Sold
197,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Edouard Vuillard
  • Marcelle Aron dans la salle à manger au Château-Rouge
  • Signed E Vuillard and dated 1905 (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas

Provenance

H.O. Miehke, Vienna
Baron Adolphe Kohner, Hungary (and sold: Kohner-Ernst Museum, Budapest, February 29-28, 1934, lot 90)
David Eckles, England
Arthur Tooth & Sons, London
Sam Salz, New York (acquired circa 1952)
Acquired from the above on June 16, 1952

Exhibited

New York, Museum of Modern Art & Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, Édouard Vuillard, 1954, n.n.
Minneapolis, Walker Art Center; San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor; Saint Louis, Saint Louis Art Museum; Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art & Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Vuillard, 1960-61, no. 57, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Wildenstein, Vuillard, 1964, no. 57, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Stuart Preston, Édouard Vuillard, New York, 1972, no. 65, illustrated p. 46
Antoine Salomon & Guy Cogeval, Vuillard, The Inexhaustible Glance, Critical Catalogue of Paintings and Pastels, vol. II, Paris, 2003, no. VIII-142, illustrated p. 897

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1905, this lively and intimate scene depicts Madame Marcelle Aron, a friend and patron of the artist, seated in the dining room of Château-Rouge, a summer manor in Normandy belonging to the Hessel family. Vuillard met Madame Aron through Lucy Hessel, his lover and lifetime partner, as well as first cousin and close friend of the sitter.

The artist painted the daily life of his patrons using their domestic settings as the ground for his pictures: “I do not paint portraits; I paint people in their surroundings” (Vuillard quoted in Chastel, Vuillard, 1868-1940, p.94). The present work is a clear and beautiful example of how the artist viewed his role as interpreter and archivist of the private life of Parisian society. The rich and busy interior reflects the eclectic decorative style that was dominant at the turn of the century. The gentle luminosity and femininity of the setting subtly transports the viewer to an intimate world of understated allure, with Madame Aron concentrated in her action, probably sewing. As Kimberly Jones notes, “Vuillard’s women are perpetually absorbed in their occupation and…remain unconscious of the presence of the artist and the gaze of the viewer” (quoted in Guy Cogeval, Édouard Vuillard (exhibition catalogue), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, 2003, p. 131).

The painting’s chromatic unity is remarkable; almost everything in the surroundings seems to match or blend with the pale green and red brushstrokes that describe the sitter. Art critic Albert Aurier, a contemporary of Vuillard, “admired these women bent over their work in gaslit interiors, seeing them as possessing the ‘charm of the unexpected’ and expressing the bittersweet emotions of life and the tenderness of intimacy” (Gloria Groom, Edouard Vuillard: Painter-Decorator, New Haven, 1993, p.28).

Marcelle Aron dans la salle à manger au Château-Rouge is a beautiful example of the artist’s mature style. Vuillard achieves here a near-perfect balance between the decorative and abstracted tendencies of the Nabis movement and the new realism aesthetic that developed in the earliest years of the twentieth century.

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