EDOUARD VU I L L ARD PORTRAI TS RECONSIDERED
J I L L N EWH O U S E
EDOUARD VU I L L ARD PORTRAI TS RECONSIDERED
Paintings, Pastels, and Drawings
in association with neffe-degandt fine art, london
Essay by Richard Brettell
Jill Newhouse Gallery 4 East 81 st Street New York, NY 10028 Tel ( 212 ) 249-9216 email: email@example.com www.jillnewhouse.com
This catalogue accompanies the exhibition EDOUARD VUILLARD: PORTRAITS RECONSIDERED from April 11 to May 25, 2012 Jill Newhouse Gallery 4 East 81 st Street New York, NY 10028 Tel ( 212 ) 249-9216 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.jillnewhouse.com
I don’t do portraits, I paint people in their surroundings.
1 Misia Sert and her Niece Mimi Godebska, known as The Black Cups , c. 1923 – 5
TH I NK I NG AGA I N ABOU T VU I L L ARD ’ S L AT E POR T RA I T S
on february 13 , 1923 , now more than ninety years ago, Vuillard dropped by the Hotel Meurice, where his old friend, Misia, was finishing a long lunch with Coco Chanel and Pierre Bonnard. It seems that Bonnard walked Vuillard back to the apartment Misia shared with her third husband, the Catalan painter, Josep Maria Sert. From Vuillard’s brief journal entry, we know that Sert insisted then and there that Vuillard paint a portrait of Misia, which the painter commenced—seemingly against his will—in 1923 and struggled with until the late summer of 1925 , more than two years later. The resulting painting is, as Guy Cogeval neatly puts it, “one of Vuillard’s most perverse ‘anti portraits.’” (Cogeval, Vol. III, p. 1420 ), and, as such, it serves as our introduction to the fiendishly difficult and elusive world of “late Vuillard.” (cat. no. 1 ). Whereas his friend Bonnard brightened his palette, stuck to the traditional painting medium of oil on canvas, and seldom varied from the pleas ant bourgeois imagery of landscapes, flowers, fruit, women, and pets, Vuillard enmeshed himself in the baroque intricacies of Parisian cosmopolitan society, invented his own version of the old me dium of distemper (he boiled his little pots of glue mixed with pigment on his stove like a cook!), worked on canvases for years at a time, and created works that seem to resist the bracing modernism of the century in which he lived the majority of
his professional life. Perhaps, as a result of this, Sert, who had insisted that Vuillard paint his wife, never bought the painting on which the poor art ist labored so long, and both the painting and a somewhat larger distemper on paper “sketch” for it (cat. no. 2 ) , were in the painter’s studio at his death in 1940 . These two paintings, which were made simultaneously, have never been shown to gether, and only three of the more than 100 pencil “croquis” made by Vuillard in preparation for the paintings have ever been published. Here, they ap pear together to illuminate what might be called an “anti-commission” of an “anti-portrait.” Why should we care about this “perverse anti portrait?” Surely because Vuillard himself did, reworking it extensively to hang in the French Pavillion of the Venice Biennial in 1934 . Indeed, in Venice, the painting hung with the now famous series of four somewhat smaller portraits of his artist friends, Aristide Maillol, Kerr-Xavier Roussel, Pierre Bonnard, and Maurice Denis, today among the glories of the permanent collection of the Petit Palais in Paris after the city of Paris purchased them in 1937 . (Salomon et Cogeval, Vol. III; XI- 120 . 1 - 4 ) How could Vuillard have allowed a “perverse anti-portrait,” to hang with works that all agree are among the glories of his late career? Like the painting so aptly characterized by
that phrase, the answer to that question is layered and complex and is, in the end, the subject of this highly focused exhibition designed to complement the much larger retrospective of Vuillard’s career at the Jewish Museum in New York. It must be said simply that important critics and historians of modern art have struggled to understand Vuillard’s art of the 20 th century. Indeed, their struggle has resulted in a fairly consistent consensus that the four decades of his art in the last century form a long decline from the brilliant youthful career of the 1890 ’s when Vuillard is considered to have been one of the major forces in progressive avant-garde art. His “late” (he was only 32 in 1900 !) paintings, pastels, watercolors, gouaches, and drawings still command a certain respect in the art market, but at prices well below those of his friend Bonnard, who, by contrast, seems to have done everything right in critical terms as a 20 th century painter. In an essay in the catalogue of the Jewish Museum exhibition devoted to Vuillard’s brilliant portraits of members of the Kapferer family, I argue that Vuillard’s form of 20 th century modernism has greater resonance with the literary modernism of his contemporary, Marcel Proust, than it does with the pictorial modernism championed by the Museum of Modern Art. We simply cannot imagine any of the paintings in this exhibition or most of the 20 th century paintings in the Jewish Museum’s exhibition in the galleries of MOMA. Yet, Vuillard’s refusal to play by the rules of pictorial
modernism set by critics and historians of modern art is perhaps his most important quality—and we must attempt to understand what he rejected of that modernism as we define what is modern about his 20 th century art. The great literary critic, Harold Bloom, is now famous for defining the progressive history of western literature as a series of creative and willful “mis-readings” of canonical texts by increasingly burdened later writers striving themselves to become canonical. He often strains our credibility by defining certain texts in one literary form by their mis-reading of texts in another—Blake’s mis-readings of Shakespeare, for example. But, we could extend his analysis to French literature, with its own vast canon. Proust, in this way of reasoning, gained strength as a novelist by mis-reading Balzac and Zola, both of whom he disliked, as he attempted to better them, and, to extend this idea, Proust’s very esthetic can actually be defined as a form of betrayal of these earlier figures he worked to supplant. How, then, does one apply this kind of literary analysis to the art of representational painting in the 20 th century and specifically to the art of Vuillard? It was, in the end, Vuillard’s deliberate misreading of the fast-moving trends in the art of his own time that lead him to a path that stubbornly resists almost all that he saw as the dominate traits of that art. Vuillard was precisely “modern” in his aggressive attempts not to be modern. His very rejection constitutes a peculiar form of modernism.
2 Misia Sert and her Niece (preparatory sketch) , 1925
When we look at his portrait of Misia—a painting Vuillard himself entitled with his own conscious aversion to this work’s existence as a portrait, “The Black Cups”—we confront Vuillard’s own acts of rejection—of the art of his time and of a sitter who, in his view, made a pathetic attempt to keep up with the ever-changing aspects of modernist taste in the city that defined modernism. Guy Cogeval is correct in calling this painting an “anti-portrait,” and he might have gone even further in calling it an “anti-modern anti-portrait.” Indeed, Vuillard’s modernism must be understood as anti-modern. Just as Proust would write in defiant opposition to his contemporaries, creating, in his rejection, a form of complex, layered narrative whose ambitions have the 20 th century as a rejection of that centuries’ predominant esthetic trends—trends that, as a young man, he did so much to define. Vuillard’s portrait of Misia begun in 1923 , “completed” in 1925 , and repainted in 1933 – 4 is precisely a rejection not only of his sitter, but, more precisely, of his own earlier paintings of this extraordinary woman. Misia Godebeski Natanson Edwards Sert had been Vuillard’s firstmuse andperhaps his first lover. In the 1890 ’s, she presided over a salon in the wonderfully cluttered and unpretentious apartment—called Vuillard’s modernism must be understood as anti-modern. their roots in the 19 th century multi-volume novels of Balzac and Zola, so too Vuillard defined his oeuvre of
“The Annex”—that she shared with her first husband Thadee Natanson. Here, Vuillard was enveloped in a world of loving and mutually beneficial creativity in which artists, writers, musicians, actors, and others played in a world without children. In a certain sense, “The Annex” and the Natanson’s little country villa, “le Relais,” were delightful esthetic playpens for creative adults, who came and went as the days, the weeks, and the seasons changed. Vuillard was, without question, the dominating “visualizer” of these playpens—although he shared this responsibility with Felix Vallotton, Pierre Bonnard, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and his images of these interiors and gardens—alive with pattern, visual clutter, and people of varying types—are ordered just enough to be legible without losing the wonderful tendency towards formlessness that made them so interesting to their creative inhabitants. Few rules of “correct” comportment, dress, or demeanor applied to the merry—or histrionic—goings-on in Misia’s realms, and Vuillard will be remembered as much for his representations of it as Boucher and Fragonard were for theirs of Mme. de Pompadour’s. The story of Misia in the 20 th century is one of her gradual withdrawal from this decidedly bohemian world into one made possible only with considerable wealth. Her second husband, Alfred Edwards, may even have “acquired” Misia by agreeing to pay her first husband’s debts, and, whatever the truth to this off-repeated rumor, it does make clear that she escaped from a kind of
Bohemian adolescence into a cushioned adulthood from which she would never escape. Vuillard was effectively replaced as her official painter by Auguste Renoir, whose paintings of her as Mme. Edwards have little to do with Vuillard’s ordered chaos, and Vuillard himself found consolation in the arms of his next muse and lover, the formidable Lucy Hessel, whom he lovingly portrayed as she aged in a series of genre portraits that are, perhaps, the most complex pictorial analysis of any 20 th century woman by a great artist. Given this—and given Misia’s abandonment for an even younger woman by Edwards and Misia’s later remarriage to the wealthy Catalan painter, Josep Maria Sert, it is hardly surprising that Vuillard had trouble with a portrait commission that resulted in this telling “anti-portrait.” How did he work on The Black Cups ? First, he surely decided where and in what costume he would paint Misia. He elected—or was perhaps told—to include her favorite neice, Marie-Jeanne Godebeski, whom Misia held in her arms as a baby in Vuillard’s wonderful Lady in Blue with Child of 1899 (Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum). Marie-Jeanne—called Mimi throughout her life— was the daughter of Misia’s half-brother, Cipa Godebeski and was, with Vuillard’s own niece, one of two little girls who played walk-in parts in the early lives of the childless people in the Natanson’s world. Here, as a woman in her early 20 ’s, we see her as a “real” young woman, who stands and looks down on her seated aunt Misia, who was, in 1923
when the painting was begun, 51 —as we would say today, “going on 21 .” Mimi was to be married in 1925 , the year the painting was completed, in a society wedding in a chapel of Les Invalides and had blossomed into a young beauty. Misia herself, as we know from the luncheon at the Meurice that gave rise to the painting, was particularly close in those days to Coco Chanel, and her mature style of clothing, jewelry, and even in her fashionably bobbed hair, was very “au courrant” and very “Chanel.” How different she is than the delightful ingénue wearing almost hippy-like flowing printed fabric dresses in Vuillard’s earliest paintings of her or than the haute-couture “lady” painted by Renoir as Mme. Edwards. Here, she is androgynous—at once boy and woman—as she presides over the stylishly modern dining room in which she takes her tea or coffee. The room itself must have given Vuillard fits. With no architectural ornament of any sort, its walls are essentially unadorned surfaces of grey silk fabric, and surely the ceiling is either lacquered or silver leaf. How, he must have wondered, does one paint these surfaces with distemper? The vast varnished surface of the table fills the foreground of the picture, forcing the viewer (who, from the eye level of the picture, is also seated) into the role of a guest for coffee in the late afternoon. The interior itself has very few objects—one painting (a Bonnard landscape?) enters at stage right, a set of Chinese style dining chairs line the walls, a sideboard with an electrified candelabra sits at stage left, an
oddly under-scaled blackamoor stands next to the wall near Mimi, and a completely unornamented door gives one a glimpse into the adjacent room. When compared to the rooms Misia shared with Thadée, this one has almost nothing in it, but each object is chosen with supreme care—like the long rope of large diamonds that adorns Misia’s increasingly ample neck and bosom. Her head is so small with respect to her body, that surely Vuillard was compensating pictorially for her increasing middle-aged spread by showing her seated, and her incredibly simple dress and hair speaks about her utter devotion to the mannish esthetic of her friend—and, some say, lover—Coco Chanel. For Vuillard, Misia’s attempts to be up-to-the moment à la Coco were pathetic, and his pictorial contrast between the “real” youth of Mimi and the caked-face of his former muse, Misia, tells us volumes about his attitude toward aging. Indeed, Vuillard painted a telling self-portrait in the same years, 1923 – 4 , he was painting Misia (Salomon et Cogeval XI- 167 , Private collection, New York). In it, we see him as frankly old and wearing his underwear while washing in the morning. He looks in the mirror and is surrounded by actual and reflected works of art, most of which are reproductions or copies by Vuillard himself of older art by such masters as Le Sueur, Michelangelo, and Poussin as well as a classical relief, and a Japanese print. In Vuillard’s world, there is nothing au courant. We can’t imagine a Matisse, a Picasso, or, God forbid, a Mondrian on his walls. Vuillard’s
modernism was one in which the sheer availability of many human pasts and of millions of old works of art from these pasts was much more important and interesting than what he would have considered to be the passing “fashions” of art called cubism, orphism, neo-plasticism, dada, or surrealism. In fact, if the artist was at home anywhere in Paris it was in the Louvre, which he knew well enough as to be almost pedantic in his opinions about the works in it, and his references to these works were so numerous that one can link his modernism more closely to that of the equally art-obsessed Manet than to any modern artist of his own generation. It was, however, Vuillard’s equally obsessive desire to record the actual world of his sitters in all its detail that lead to the creation of the more than 100 drawings that survive today for this single painting. (Not even Seurat made that many drawings for La Grande Jatte .) Vuillard studied the reflections of the cups on the shiny expanse of wood of the table, the details of the blackamoor, the fashionable little terrier in Misia’s lap, the iron edged glass door reflecting light from the living room, etc. etc. It is as if the painter wanted to forget nothing surrounding Misia in his attempt to avoid painting a portrait of her. And the very existence of these drawings, all of which were originally in sketchbooks, made it possible for the artist to work in his studio on the painting without the powerfully distracting presence of the sitter herself. It almost seems as if Vuillard’s approach-avoidance of Misia is part of a well-conceived “reading” of her
character late in life. How she reminds us of several of the society ladies who populate Proust’s late novels collectively entitled À la Recherche du temps perdu , the fifth volume ( La Prisonnière ) of which appeared in the year Vuillard’s painting of Misia was begun and the 6 th ( La Fugitive ) in the year of its completion. The point need hardly be made that Proust’s layered and obsessively detailed prose has precise analogues in Vuillard’s equally layered and “slow” pictorial surfaces. If one struggles to discover the structure of a paragraph by Proust, so too does one struggle with Vuillard’s largest late portraits, so dense are their compressed and layered recording of his detailed visual analyses. The point that must be made in the context of this focused gathering of “late” works by Vuillard is that they too take a long time to see. We simply cannot walk easily by them as we do most works in the galleries of a museum and remember their basic pictorial structure, because Vuillard didn’t want us to do that. If Pissarro said that “the eye of the passer-by is not for me,” Vuillard meant it. For that reason, it will be in the quiet and contemplative rooms at Jill Newhouse Gallery that these paintings can be, in effect, lived with. The best way to see this exhibition is not once, but several times; and not for short periods, but for long ones, when one can stand or sit quietly casting one’s eyes back and forth between the tiny penciled surfaces of the drawings to the thickly layered and even pock marked distemper surfaces of the paintings. And, for the first time, we can
quietly gauge Vuillard’s fascinating decision to work on a full-scale “study” and the finished painting at the same time, probably abandoning the “sketch” when he had finished the painting Sert never bought, allowing us to see what the latter might have looked like in 1925 before he repainted it in Venice in 1933 – 4 . We shall then have the time to come to a better understanding of the extraordinary group portrait of Mme. Bloch (cat. no. 3 ) , her three children, and the nanny, of which Vuillard painted not two but four full-scale versions over a period of three full years before sending the finished one to the family. The present work is considered to be the penultimate of the four and, like the first three, remained with the painter until his death. Even the ever sympathetic Guy Gogeval was a little critical of the finished portrait of Mme. Bloch and her children, for which the present work
is the final one of four large-scale studies. Yet, we have to understand the larger role of Vuillard as a portrayer not only of individual people, but
If Pissarro said the “the eye of the passer-by is not for me,” Vuillard meant it.
of haute-bourgeois Parisian society in what we might call its “Proustian” complexity. Jean Bloch, who commissioned the picture of his pretty wife and adorable children, made a fortune producing kitchen and bathroom fixtures for the newly “plumbing-conscious” Parisian market. Yet, with this expensive and elegant interior redolent of the
3 Madame Jean Bloch and her Children (first version) , 1927 – 29
“ancienne regime,” one sees not only the beautifully dressed children and their mother, but also their nanny, who helps the youngest to read her large book, and all the family sits in expensive—and new—historicist furniture on patterned wall to-wall carpet in front of a damask covered wall featuring a superbly framed portrait by Pietro Nelli of the then ruling Pope Pius XI. This is the way it was, of course, and how curious it must have been to Vuillard—as it would have been to Proust— that the Blochs were most likely of Jewish origin. Whether Jean Bloch or Vuillard chose what we might call the “papal backdrop” for the painting, Vuillard’s loquacious journal is silent, but neither the aspirational anxieties nor the ironies embodied in this portrait were lost on the subtle painter. This time, however, M. Bloch liked the finished painting well enough to pay for it, and it remains today in the collection of his descendents. The other works in the present exhibition form a family with the commissioned portraits discussed here. They are somewhat more modest in scale and were, with one important exception, not the result of a specific commission. Yet, they too are portraits of people who occupy complex interiors filled with books and works of art. In Venus of Milo (cat. no. 4 ), we see a particularly “up-to-date” (for 1920 ) young woman in Vuillard’s own modest apartment on the rue de Calais, with its full-scale plaster cast of the torso of the Venus de Milo in the Louvre sitting implausibly on
the mantel and wittily juxtaposed to the model. Although we know her name (Mlle. Hermion), the work is not a portrait in the sense of being commissioned by the sitter. Instead, Vuillard, as he often did, simply “used” someone he knew as a human presence in a complex interior. Thus, she is neither posing nor posed, and it seems almost as if we happen upon her as she “completes” the armless, headless, and legless Venus de Milo she confronts. She has all her appendages and is, in addition, dressed in an utterly modern, almost mannish fashion, her breasts almost hidden beneath the flat, heavy clothe of her pink dress. In this way, she contrasts again with the Venus de Milo, who exposes all that is hidden of Mlle. Hermion. Here, Vuillard places “past and “present,” “art” and “life,” in the same room and allows each its own “space” as they preside over an interior lit by an unseen window and reflected by a gorgeous over mantel mirror—mirrors and windows being the two principal metaphors for “the picture” in the western tradition. Vuillard is nothing if not clever. As one reflects on the portraits we have discussed in this short essay, it is clear that Vuillard was pictorially fascinated with “aging” and with the full spectrum of life from youth to venerable old age. He loved painting old sitters—and in this one thinks of earlier artists like Rembrandt or Goya. He also was fascinated by the whole spectacle of female fashion, and one could do as serious a study of the clothing of the 20 th century by confining oneself to Vuillard’s paintings and drawings as one
could 19 th century fashion by studying Manet, Renoir, or Degas. Indeed, the word “vintage”— much used in preference to “old” in the parlance of America’s youth oriented society—is one that applies well to Vuillard’s peculiar and personal modernity. Vuillard preserved for the indefinite
to be as flattering as they might have hoped. To flatter was not Vuillard’s aim, not because he couldn’t flatter, but because he would rather tell the truth. His truths were told visually, and the results are often painful—like those told in the portraits of Giacometti or Soutine or Bacon or Freud. It is to this difficult modernity—a modernity steeped in the past and unafraid of complexity—to which Vuillard makes such a compelling and important contribution. There is probably no other 20 th century artist who more honestly—and more clinically—portrayed that anxious century in a great city that was, even in its own eyes, beginning a long, slow decline into a cluttered and infinitely interesting past.
future of “art” a world that had itself preserved so much of that art and made it central to the life of the people doing the preservation. If modernity is almost always defined as future driven, there is also an
His truths were told visually, and the results are often painful—like those told in the portraits of Giacometti or Soutine or Bacon or Freud.
equally important dimension of it that links us imaginatively to various human pasts—both our own and those of others. Vuillard’s modernity was of the latter type—a search, like that of Proust, for lost time preserved in art. It is hoped that this small exhibition will provide New Yorkers with the chance to stop a moment from their frantically busy lives and slip into former ones. Oddly, it does so in a way that is completely original, for Vuillard never considered himself to be a “society portrait painter” just as Proust never thought of himself as a “society novelist.” It is easy to see, when looking at Misia’s thick and utterly ugly face, why her husband never bought the portrait, and it is equally easy to see that the Blochs or many of Vuillard’s other socially prominent sitters might not have found his portraits of them
By Richard R. Brettell, Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair, the University of Texas at Dallas
4 Venus of Milo , 1920
5 Georges Bénard in Front of ‘Le Grand Teddy,’ 1931
6 Portrait of Madame Louis Viau, c. 1936
1 Misia Sert and her Niece Mimi Godebska, known as The Black Cups , c. 1923 – 5
Distemper on canvas 55 1 ⁄ 8 × 68 7 ⁄ 8
inches ( 140 × 175 cm)
Signed lower left
provenance Artist’s studio Private collection JPL Fine Arts, London Neffe-Degandt Fine Art, London.
exhi b i t ions Venice, Venice Biennale , French Pavillion, April 1934 , no. 153 Brussels, Ministre des Sciences et des Arts, Exposition universelle et internationale, September 1935 , no. 665 Strasbourg, 1936 Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Vuillard , October 8 – December 5 , 1948 , no. 84 bis Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Vuillard, May 15 – June 30 , 1953 , no. 13 Amsterdam, Van Wisselingh, Maitres Français XIXe et XXe siècles, November 21 –December 23 , 1966 , no. 22 Toronto, San Francisco, and Chicago, Édouard Vuillard, 1868-1940 , 1971 – 2 , no. 227 , p. 70 , pl. XVI London, JPL Fine Arts, É. Vuillard, Portraits and Related Studies in Pencil and Pastel , May 24 – July 29 , 1983 , p. 6 , illus.
A. Salomon and G. Cogeval, Vuillard, Catalogue critique des peintures et pastels , Skira/Seuil, Wildenstein Institute, Paris, 2003 , vol. III, no. XI- 224 , p. 1419 .
l i terature C. Roger Marx, Vuillard et son temps, Paris, Ed. Arts et métiers graphiques , 1946 , p. 106 A. Chastel, Vuillard. 1868-1940, Paris, Floury, 1946 , pp. 96 , 100 J. Salomon , Vuillard Admiré , Paris, La bibliothèque des arts, 1961 , p. 143 , illus. P. H. Huisman, Connaissance des Arts , no. 133 , March 1963 , p. 64 , illus. Jacques Salomon, Vuillard, 1968 , Gallimard-NRF, p. 147 , illus. J. Russell, “Vuillard: Melancholy Mastered.” Art News 70 , no. 5 , September 1971 , p. 70 , no. 227 , pl. XVI A. Gold and R. Fizdale, The Life of Misia Sert, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1980 , p. 269 , pp. 114 – 5 , illus. M. Kozloff, ‘ Four Short Essays on Vuillard, ’ Artforum 10 , no. 4 , 1971 , p. 64 , fig. 10 J. Russell, “The Vocation of Édouard Vuillard,” in Édouard Vuillard, 1868-1940 (exhib. cat., Toronto, San Francisco, and Chicago), London, Thames and Hudson, 1971 , no. 227 , p. 70 , pl. XVI P. Ciaffa, The Portraits of Édouard Vuillard, Ph.D. Diss., Columbia University, Ann Arbor, University Microfilms, 1985 , pp. 339 – 42 , fig. 193 G. Cogeval, Il tempo dei Nabis, (excat. Florence) and Le Temps des Nabis (excat. Montreal), Florence, Artificio Edizioni s.r.l., 1998 , no. 127 , pp. 166 , 198 , illus.; Montreal, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1998 , no. 193 , pp. 88 , 123 , illus.
2 Misia Sert and her Niece (preparatory sketch) , 1925 accompanied by 113 preparatory drawings for this project Distemper and pastel on paper, mounted on canvas 55 3 ⁄ 8 × 70 7 ⁄ 8 inches ( 140 . 5 × 180 cm) Stamped lower right provenance Artist’s studio Private collection Private collection, through Kunsthandel Wolfgang Werner Bremen and Bremen. exhi b i t ions Berlin, Kunsthandel Wofgang Werner, Vuillard: Intérieurs et paysages de Paris, March 20 –May 30 , 1992 , no. 12 , illus. Munich, Neue Pinakothek, Édouard Vuillard, Les tasses noires. Arbeiten auf Papier, 1903 – 1928 , May 30 –August 12 , 2001 , (Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, November 23 , 2001 – January 27 , 2002.) no. 16 , p. 83 , illus. l i terature A. Salomon et G. Cogeval, Vuillard, Catalogue critique des peintures et pastels , Skira/Seuil, Wildenstein Institute, Paris, 2003 , vol. III, no. XI- 223 , p. 1419 .
3 Madame Jean Bloch and her Children (first version) , 1927 – 29
Distemper on canvas 75 3 ⁄ 4 × 70 5 ⁄ 8 Stamped lower left
inches ( 192 . 5 × 179 . 5 cm)
provenance Artist’s Studio Katia Pissarro, Paris JPL Fine Arts, London Private collection, London.
l i terature A. Salomon et G. Cogeval, Vuillard, Catalogue critique des peintures et pastels , Skira/Seuil, Wildenstein Institute, Paris, 2003 , vol. III, no. XI- 261 , p. 1442 .
4 Venus of Milo , 1920
Distemper on board 26 × 28 3 ⁄ 4 Signed lower right
inches ( 66 × 73 cm)
provenance Jos Hessel, Paris, bought in half share with Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, no. 22001 , March 24 , 1920 Bought in totality by Bernheim-Jeune, October 24 , 1923 Henri Canonne, Paris, November 12 , 1932 Sale, J. Canonne, Hotel Drouot, Paris, June 5 , 1942 , lot 31 Private collection. exhi b i t ions Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy, Pierre Bonnard & Édouard Vuillard, August 17 – September 18 , 1948 , no. 103 London, Wildenstein, Édouard Vuillard , June 1948 , no. 44 Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Vuillard, October 8 – December 5 , 1948 , no. 76 Basle, Kunsthalle, Édouard Vuillard, Charles Hug, March 26 –May 1 , 1949 , no. 220 Paris, Galerie Kleber, Gauguin et ses amis, 1949 , no. 107 Paris, Bernheim-Jeune, Vuillard, exposition au profit de l’Orphelinat des Arts, May 15 –June 30 , 1953 , no. 12
Hamburg, Kunstverein, Vuillard, Gemalde, Pastelle, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik, June 6 –July 26 , 1964 Frankfurt-sur-le-Main, Kunstverein, August 1 – September 6 , 1964 Zurich, Kunsthaus, September 17 –October 25 , 1964 , no. 67 Toronto, Gallery of Ontario, Édouard Vuillard , 1868–1940 , September 11 –October 24, 1971 (San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, November 18, 1971 –January 2, 1972 , Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, January 29 –March 12, 1972 ), no. 79 , illus. Paris, Bernheim-Jeune, Vuillard , January 5 –March 3 , 1973 , no. 31 Bruxelles, Musées Royaux des Beaux-arts de Belgique, Bonnard, Vuillard, Roussel , September 26 –November 30 , 1975 , no. 41 Tokyo, Seibu Museum of Art, Vuillard , no. 41 , August 27 –September 28 , 1977 Kumamoto, Prefectural Museum of Art, Nov. 18 – Dec. 4 , 1977 Hita, Hita Municipal Museum, December 10 , 1977 –January 8 , 1978 Shimonoseki, Daimaru Gallery, January 12 – 24 , 1978 Sendai, Sendai City Museum, February 5 – 26 , 1978 Takasaki, Gunma Prefectural Museum of History, March 4 – 26 , 1978 Kochi, Prefectural Folk Museum, April 5 – 20 , 1978
Fujinomiya, Fuji Art Museum Tokyo, Galerie Tokoro, Édouard Vuillard , February 26 –March 17 , 1979.
l i terature A. Alexandre, “Les impressionists de sentiment.
Vuillard, Bonnard et Roussel,” in La collection Cannone: Une histoire en action de
l’Impressionnisme et de ses suites . Paris, Bernheim Jeune and Renaissance de l’art, 1930 , pp. 88 , 89 , illus. J. Salomon, Vuillard, témoignage , Paris, Albin Michel, 1945 , p. 108 , illus. C. Roger-Marx, Vuillard et son temps , Paris, Ed. Arts et métiers graphiques, 1946 , p. 93 C. Schweicher, Die Bildraumgestaltung, das Dekorative und das Ornamentale im Werke von Édouard Vuillard , Phil. I Diss., Zurich, Univ. Trier, Paulinus, 1949 , pp. 70 , 75 , 99 J. Salomon, Vuillard admiré, Paris, La Bibliothèque des arts, 1961 , p. 126 C. Roger-Marx, Vuillard. Interieurs , Paris et Lausanne, La Bibliothèque des arts, coll. Rythmes et Couleurs, 2 e serie, no. 3 , 1968 , pl. 23 J. Solomon, Vuillard , Paris, Gallimard-NRF, 1968 , p. 136 , illus. J. Warnod, Vuillard, Paris, Flammarion, coll. Les maitres de la peinture, 1988 , p. 76 , illus. A. Salomon et G. Cogeval, Vuillard, Catalogue critique des peintures et pastels , Skira/Seuil, Wildenstein Institute, Paris, 2003 , vol. III, no. X- 181 , pp. 1260 – 61 .
5 Georges Bénard in Front of ‘Le Grand Teddy,’ 1931
Pastel on paper 24 3 ⁄ 4 × 18 7 ⁄ 8
inches ( 63 × 48 cm)
Stamped lower right
Le Grand Teddy was the name of a well-known Paris tea room which was the subject of a 1918 – 19 painting by Vuillard (Collection of Petit-Palais in Geneva). Vuillard chose to rework the painting in 1931 , and while it was still in his studio, made this lively pastel of the banker Georges. provenance Artist’s studio Amante, Paris Sale, Palais Galliera, Paris, June 17 , 1965 , lot 30 Sale, Hotel George V, Paris, June 12 , 1969 , lot 119 Sale, Hotel de Ventes, Versailles, France, December 2 , 1973 , lot 187 Oscar Ghez collection, Geneva Sale, Hotel des Ventes, Bourg-en-Bresse, France, December 3 , 1978 , lot 180 Private collection, Paris Neffe-Degandt Fine Art, London. exhi b i t ions Paris, Galerie Beaux-Arts, Pastels de Vuillard , December 1949 .
‘Le Grand Teddy’ Tea Room , 1918–19 , reworked 1930 . Distemper on oval canvas, 65 x 118 in. ( 165 x 300 cm). Signed lower right. Collection of the Petit Palais, Geneva, Oscar Ghez Foundation. Catalogue raisonné X- 225 .
l i terature A. Salomon and G. Cogeval, Vuillard, Catalogue critique des peintures et pastels , Skira/Seuil, Wildenstein Institute, Paris, 2003 , vol. III, no. XII- 77 , p. 1492 .
6 Portrait of Madame Louis Viau, c. 1936
Pastel on paper 19 3 ⁄ 8 × 25 1 ⁄ 4
inches ( 49 . 2 × 64 . 1 cm)
Signed lower right
The sitter was the wife of Le Docteur Louis Viau ( 1868 – 1940 ) who was also painted by Vuillard in 1936 – 37 . (Collection Paris, Musée D’Orsay; Cogeval-Salomon XII- 129 ). That portrait was one of the last in Vuillard’s series of medical portraits, the most famous of which is The Surgeons (Cogeval Salomon IX- 226 ).
provenance Doctor Louis Viau, Paris Art market, Paris, 1948
Sale, Palais Galliera, Paris, June 18 , 1962 , lot 44 Sale, Sotheby’s, New York, March 27 , 1963 , lot 70 Sale, Sotheby’s, New York, December 12 , 1968 , lot 48 Sale, Sotheby’s, New York, June 14 , 1985 , lot 7 Sale, Sotheby’s, London, December 3 , 1986 , lot 420 Neffe-Degandt Fine Art, London. l i terature A. Salomon et G. Cogeval, Vuillard, Catalogue critique des peintures et pastels , Skira/Seuil, Wildenstein Institute, Paris, 2003 , vol. III, no. XII- 130 , p. 1523 .
1868 Born November 11 in Cuiseaux in the Saône-et-Loire. 1877 Moves to Paris and attends the Lycée Condorcet with Maurice Denis and Ker-Xavier Roussel. 1886 Attends classes at the Académie Julian and begins painting still-lives. 1888 – 89 With Pierre Bonnard, Denis, and Roussel joins the Nabis . 1891 Shares a studio with Bonnard and begins working in the theater designing sets. His first solo show takes place at the offices of La Revue Blanche where he meets Misia Godebska. 1892 Travels to Belgium, Holland and London with Roussel. Receives several commissions for decorative work from the Desmarais and Natanson families. 1893 – 94 Vuillard’s Grandmother Désirée Michaud dies and his sister Marie marries Roussel. Misia marries Thadée Natanson, editor of La Revue Blanche. 1895 – 96 Meets the art dealer Joseph Hessel and his wife Lucy. Lucy replaces Misia as Vuillard’s artistic muse and the two have an amorous relationship for the next forty years. 1897 Exhibits with other Nabi painters at Ambroise Vollard’s gallery. 1898 Collaborates with Bonnard and Roussel on decorations for the auditorium at the Théâtre des Pantins.
1899 Travels to London with Bonnard. 1901
First exhibitions at the Salon des indépendants. Spends the summers in Normandy. Exhibits in Brussels and in Vienna. 1903 Misia begins living with the newspaper magnate Alfred Edwards. She organizes regular salons to entertain the elite of Parisian artistic circles including Vuillard, Renior, Bonnard, and Callotton, as well as Ravel and Debussy. 1909 Spends the summer with the Hessels in St. Jacut, Brittany, painting landscapes. With Bonnard, visits Claude Monet in Giverny. 1910 – 14 Paints numerous commissioned portraits and decorations for the Hessels and their friends. 1915 – 17 Visits Roussel in Switzerland. 1925 – 27 Spends time at the Hessels’ new country home, the Château des Clayes. In Paris, moves with his mother to an apartment on the Place Vintimille. 1928 Vuillard’s mother dies. 1938 A major retrospective is held at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs. 1940 Dies in La Baule, Brittany
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A.L. Barye Max Beckmann Pierre Bonnard François Bonvin Eugène Boudin Rodolphe Bresdin Sir E.C. Burne-Jones Alexander Calder Théodore Chassériau John Constable J.B.C. Corot Gustave Courbet Edgar Degas Eugène Delacroix Charles Demuth Maurice Denis André Derain Raoul Dufy Henri Fantin-Latour Lyonel Feininger Paul Gauguin John Gibson Tom Goldenberg Henri Harpignies Erich Heckel Wenzel Hollar Paul Huet Victor Hugo J.B. Jongkind Wolf Kahn Paul Klee Gustav Klimt Oskar Kokoschka Georges Lemmen Léon-Augustin Lhermitte Max Liebermann Aristide Maillol Edouard Manet Lino Mannocci Wendy Mark Henri Matisse Adolph Menzel J.F. Millet Claude Monet Georgio Morandi Graham Nickson Camille Pissarro Maurice Prendergast Odilon Redon Pierre Renoir Enrico Riley Auguste Rodin Théodore Rousseau Ker-Xavier Roussel Kikuo Saito George Sand Andre de Segonzac Georges Seurat Alfred Sisley Paul Signac Fulvio Testa Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Edouard Vuillard Louisa Waber Anthonie Waterloo A.L. Barye Max Beckmann Pierre Bonnard François Bonvin Eugène Boudin Rodolphe Bresdin Sir E.C. Burne-Jones Alexander Calder Théodore Chassériau John Constable J.B.C. Corot Gustave Courbet Edgar Degas Eugène Delacroix Charles Demuth Maurice Denis André Derain Raoul Dufy Henri Fantin-Latour Lyonel Feininger Paul Gauguin John Gibson Tom Goldenberg Henri Harpignies Erich Heckel Wenzel Hollar Paul Huet Victor Hugo J.B. Jongkind Wolf Kahn Paul Klee Gustav Klimt Oskar Kokoschka Georges Lemmen Léon-Augustin Lhermitte Max Liebermann Aristide Maillol Edouard Manet Lino Mannocci Wendy Mark Henri Matisse Adolph Menzel J.F. Millet Claude Monet Georgio Morandi Graham Nickson Camille Pissarro Maurice Prendergast Odilon Redon Pierre Renoir Enrico Riley Auguste Rodin Théodore Rousseau Ker-Xavier Roussel Kikuo Saito George Sand Andre de Segonzac Georges Seurat Alfred Sisley Paul Signac Fulvio Testa Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Edouard Vuillard Louisa Waber Anthonie Waterloo A.L. Barye Max Beckmann Pierre Bonnard François Bonvin Eugène Boudin Rodolphe Bresdin Sir E.C. Burne Jones Alexander Calder Théodore Chassériau John Constable J.B.C. Corot Gustave Courbet Edgar Degas Eugène Delacroix Charles Demuth Maurice Denis André Derain Raoul Dufy Henri Fantin-Latour Lyonel Feininger Paul Gauguin John Gibson Tom Goldenberg Henri Harpignies Erich Heckel Wenzel Hollar Paul Huet Victor Hugo J.B. Jongkind Wolf Kahn Paul Klee Gustav Klimt Oskar Kokoschka Georges Lemmen Léon-Augustin Lhermitte Max Liebermann Aristide Maillol Edouard Manet Lino Mannocci Wendy Mark Henri Matisse Adolph Menzel J.F. Millet Claude Monet Georgio Morandi Graham Nickson Camille Pissarro Maurice Prendergast Odilon Redon Pierre Renoir Enrico Riley Auguste Rodin Théodore Rousseau Ker-Xavier Roussel Kikuo Saito George Sand Andre de Segonzac WWW.JILLNEWHOUSE.COM
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