Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Edouard Vuillard

Public Gardens
oil on canvas
213 x 308 cm
Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), in full Jean-Edouard Vuillard was a French painter, printmaker, and decorator who was a member of the Nabis group of painters in the 1890s. He is particularly known for his depictions of intimate interior scenes.

He studied art at the Academie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1889 he joined a group of art students that included Maurice Denis and Pierre Bonnard. In 1890, they called themselves the Nabis (Hebrew for “Prophets”), and they drew their inspiration from the Synthetist paintings of Paul Gauguin’s Pont-Aven period. Like Gauguin, the Nabis advocated a symbolic, rather than a naturalistic, approach to colour, and they usually applied their paint in ways that emphasized the flat surface of the canvas. Their admiration of Japanese woodcuts, which were then in vogue in Europe, inspired them to use simplified shapes and strong contours. With a new concept of image space, they attain a decorative flatness and pattern-like order of what is depicted. The image's colors do not primarily consider the exact reproduction of the object, but follow esthetic aspects.

In addition to painting, Vuillard, like most of the other Nabis, was involved in book illustration, poster design, and designs for the theatre. He designed stage sets and illustrated programs. In 1940 he left Paris to flee the approaching troops. He died a little later in La Baule on the Atlantic coast in the same year.