Lot 32
  • 32

Édouard Vuillard

600,000 - 800,000 USD
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  • Edouard Vuillard
  • Atelier de couture de Madame Vuillard
  • Stamped with the signature E. Vuillard (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 9 1/2 by 13 1/2 in.
  • 24 by 34 cm


Stephen C. Clark, New York (acquired in the 1940s)

Jane Forbes Clark, New York (acquired by descent from the above)

Thence by descent to the present owner


The Cleveland Museum of Art & New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Édouard Vuillard, 1954, illustrated in the catalogue

New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture Collected by Yale Alumni, 1960, no. 63, illustrated in the catalogue

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paintings from Private Collections, 1960, no. 129

University Park, Pennsylvania State University, College of Arts and Architecture, Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940), Centennial Exhibition, 1968, no. 6

Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts; Washington D.C., The Phillips Collection & The Brooklyn Museum, The Intimate Interiors of Édouard Vuillard, 1989-90, no. 64, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Williamstown, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute & New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings, 2006-07, no. 145, illustrated in color the catalogue


Émilie Daniel, Vuillard, l'espace de l'intimité, Paris, 1984, discussed pp. 142 & 146, illustrated fig. 56

Elizabeth Wynn Easton & William Kelly Simpson, The Intimate Eye of Édouard Vuillard (exhibition catalogue), The Katonah Gallery, 1989, discussed pp. 85, 88 & 89

Nancy Ellen Forgione, Édouard Vuillard in the 1890s. Intimism, Theater and Decoration, Ann Arbor, The Johns Hopkins University, 1992, discussed pp.72, 97, 98, 118 & 146, illustrated fig. 55

Susan Sidlauskas, "Contesting Femininity. Vuillard's Family Pictures", The Art Bulletin, March 1997, illustrated p. 96

Antoine Salomon & Guy Cogeval, Vuillard, The Inexhaustible Glance, Critical Catalogue of Paintings and Pastels, vol. I, Paris, 2003, no. IV-26, illustrated in color p. 243

Catalogue Note

The textured confines of Belle Epoque interior spaces inspired Vuillard's most sensorially-engaging compositions.  Painted at the height of the Nabis movement in 1892, the present composition depicts the dressmaking studio of Vuillard's mother, where the artist spent many of his formative years observing women at work amidst a patchwork of patterns, shapes and colors. Within these dimly-lit quarters, swathes of colorful fabrics were discarded throughout the room, draped across surfaces or worn by the seamstresses themselves.  The spectacle was irresistible to Vuillard, whose approach to rendering these sharp, tonal contrasts was largely informed by his experience as a printmaker.  As exemplified by the pile of remnants on the table, Vuillard reduces forms to pools of color that are unmodulated by shadow or gradation. And the bold, linear pattern of Madame's dress and the lattice of the leaded window also call to mind the grooves of a woodblock print.

The present work was once in the collection of Stephen Carlton Clark (1882-1960), the American philanthropist, inheritor to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune and founder of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  Clark and his brother Robert Sterling Clark were both art collectors, and the latter founded the eponymous museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Amassing an impressive art collection that included Van Gogh's The Night Café, Stephen Clark also served as chairman of the board of trustees of MOMA and the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Upon his death, he gifted his collection to several major museums, including the Met and the Yale University Art Gallery.