1868-1940 • French
“I don’t paint portraits…I paint people at home.”
French Post-Impressionist Jean-Édouard Vuillard was a leading figure in the Nabis movement. He specialized in interiors, examining with great technical expertise the play of patterns and ornament with the subjects of his work. Growing up the son of a dressmaker, the artist gained an appreciation for all things decorative, and chose to emphasize those elements in his painting. Vuillard’s attraction with everyday life and the tranquility of one’s own space was a guiding principle evident in his most coveted masterpieces.
Upon his acceptance into the Académie Julian in 1888, Vuillard encountered the ideology of what would become Nabis thought. Spearheaded by artist Paul Sérusier, the group’s rejection of academic principles and acceptance of purely aesthetic elements and symbolism inspired by Paul Gauguin was almost magnetic to Vuillard. He quickly embraced the Nabis and became one of the group’s most famed members.
Vuillard exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1901, and the Salon d’Automne in 1903, which served to solidify both the artist’s popularity and his prominence in the art world. He earned numerous commissions for easel paintings as well as “decorative frescos” for the interiors of prominent buildings, including the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and the homes of wealthy patrons.