Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)
Edouard Vuillard was a painter, draughtman and printmaker, born in France in 1868. He was a member of the ‘Nabis’, a group of artists who were committed to creating work that was both symbolic and spiritual. Fellow members included Pierre Bonnard and Maurice Denis.
Vuillard is well known for his scenes of Montmartre and also for his works that evoke the quiet intimacy of domestic interiors and home life. His early works were often small and intense, containing silhouette-like figures, which often at first glance are indistinguishable from the furnishings. While living with his mother, a seamstress, Vuillard would frequently paint the female customers and members of his family, either at work or at rest. Vuillard’s later work became more spatial and Impressionistic. After 1900, he was commissioned to paint large decorative panels of urban landscapes for the large homes of his patrons. These panels displayed a more light and colorful side than his work from the ‘Nabis’ period.
Vuillard’s first one-man exhibition was held in the offices of the Revue Blanche, Paris, in 1891. His most important series of lithographs, ‘Landscapes and Interiors’, was published in 1899. After 1914 he exhibited infrequently and his subsequent work remained largely unknown until 1938 when a retrospective of his work was held at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs.