Saturday, September 12, 2009

Came across this painting by Vuillard -- love the eyebrows on the dealer in the foreground. He is one of the brothers who owned the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery in Paris where Vuillard's work was exhibited. They became his friends, but it does seem that he can make a little fun of them here, showing the one in the background fussing over the books while the one in the foreground is almost a caricature of a sly salesman.

Love the shapes of those lights used to show off the paintings and the posture of the salesman, ready to spring to his feet and come forward. The pointy foot is great, isn't it?

In Vuillard, author Stuart Preston explains that Vuillard hated the financial side of the art world and became increasingly uncomfortable as he watched the prices for his works rise toward this end of his life. This one was painted later in his life when he began to simplify his interiors.

Here's an earlier one I like. Shows the interior of Madame Vuillard's workroom where Vuillard's sister Marie sorts materials and his friend, the painter Ker-Xavier Roussel, peeks around the screen at Marie, whom he would marry the same year this was painted. Vuillard had training in the theater and you can certainly see that in the whole set-up of this scene. That big orange shape in the corner, a wardrobe closet or something, seems to anchor the scene somehow. This painting, entitled Interior.

And one more, below, that goes in the other direction. No decorative patterns, very simple shapes, flatness influenced by his interest in Japanese prints, an intruging corner of a jack in the upper left. It's called Ker-Xavier Roussel Reading a Newspaper. (By this time he was married to Marie.)
I suppose if Vuillard were working today there might be a Kindle in this picture.

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