Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)
French painter and printmaker Edouard Vuillard was an important member of Les Nabis, a group of Post-Impressionists influential at the end of the 19th-century. Born in 1868, Vuillard trained in Paris at various institutions including the Lycée Julian and the École des Beaux Arts, to which he was eventually admitted after three unsuccessful attempts to gain entrance. He traveled extensively around Europe before exhibiting at his first Salon des Independents in 1901, which signaled the launch of his career and those of Les Nabis painters.
Vuillard’s artistic world is an intimate one, consisting of domestic scenes in his home and studio, occupied by his close family and friends. His interior compositions, replete with upholsteries, wallpapers, and textiles of contrasting patterns, present warm, if busy atmospheres. Much like his fellow Nabis painter, Pierre Bonnard, Vuillard was fascinated by the ways in which Gauguin utilized the expressive nature of color and form. Vuillard explored the small brushstrokes and broken paint application of Signac and Seurat, but he was less interested in the scientific distinctions of color, and focused more on experimentation with textures and patterns through color distinctions, approaching his brushwork through a mediated flatness of color. Vuillard’s shimmering, mystical puzzles of juxtaposed pattern draw from everyday life, but still lay the groundwork for the dreamy, hallucinatory imagery of the Symbolist painters.
His success in his lifetime was due, to some extent, to Ambroise Vollard, the dealer who represented and supported Cézanne, Renoir, Gauguin and other artists of the period. Major exhibitions of Vuillard’s work have been organized at influential institutions around the world, including at the National Gallery, London, and the Musée D’Orsay, Paris, and his paintings and prints are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Jewish Museum, New York; and many others major galleries and museums