Edouard Vuillard french, 1868–1940
Lucie Hessel in the Living Room, rue de Rivoli
c. 1903 – 04 Watercolor, pastel, and graphite on paper 6¼ x 3 5 ⁄ 8 in. ( 16 x 9 . 5 cm) Stamped lower right
provenance: Private Collection, Paris
In 1900 , Galerie Bernheim-Jeune began representing Vuillard, exhibiting his work regularly until about 1913 . It signaled the beginning of the next phase of his life, both in whom he associated with, as well as for the style in which he painted, as he moved away from the Nabis period, with its caricatures and heavily patterned interiors, to focus on portraiture in complex, psychological interiors. It also began his long friendship, and supposed affair, with Lucie Hessel. Madame Hessel was the wife of Jos Hessel who eventually represented Vuillard under the elder Bernheim gallery.
Almost immediately, Vuillard began spending long afternoons at the Hessels’ apartment on the rue de Rivoli, recording their everyday life. Often, the subject was Lucie in her daily activities of reading, receiving visitors, or just serenely lounging. Here, she is in her dressing room, recognizable by the large mirrors behind her, and also recorded in a photo of the period.
Lucy Hessel in front of the Mirror in her Dressing Room, c. 1903 , Photograph, Vuillard Archives.
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