Edouard Vuillard

Girl in an Interior


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Edouard Vuillard 1868–1940
Original title
Jeune femme dans un intérieur
Oil paint on board
Support: 725 × 645 × 5 mm
frame: 870 × 790 × 45 mm
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1929

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Vuillard was associated with a group of young artists known as the Nabis, whose anti-naturalist, decorative style was influenced by Gauguin. He frequently used friends as models, but he was not a portraitist in a traditional sense. ‘I don’t make portraits’, he once said, ‘I paint people in their homes’. He obsessively studied the everyday objects and furnishings of middle class interiors, and represented his models as they might be seen by a friend or member of their family. The model here is Mme Alfred Savoir, known as Miche, an acquaintance of Vuillard’s friend and dealer, Jos Hessel.

Gallery label, December 2011

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Catalogue entry

Edouard Vuillard 1868-1940

N04436 Jeune Femme dans un Intérieur (Girl in an Interior) c.1910

Inscribed 'E. Vuillard' b.r.
Oil on millboard, 28 3/8 x 25 1/4 (72 x 64)
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1929
Prov: With Jos. Hessel, Paris; with Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1919; with Alex. Reid, Glasgow, 1920; W.H. Howden; with Reid and Lefevre, London; CAS 1928
Exh: Edouard Vuillard, Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, April 1912 (17) as 'Jeune Femme'; A Century of French Painting, McLellan Galleries, Glasgow, May 1927 (58); Silver Jubilee Exhibition of Some of the Works acquired by the CAS, Tate Gallery, July-August 1935 (40); Acquisitions of the CAS, Tate Gallery, September-October 1946 (85); Edouard Vuillard, Wildenstein Gallery, London, June 1948 (23, repr.); Paintings by Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, RSA, Edinburgh, August-September 1948 (81, repr.), dated c.1902; CAS: The First Fifty Years 1910-60, Tate Gallery, April-May 1960 (162)
Repr: CAS Report 1928 (London 1929), p.9; Charles Terrasse, French Painting in the XXth Century (London-Paris-New York 1939), pl.12

The sitter has been identified by Antoine Salomon (letter of 12 September 1979) as Mme Léopold Marchand - then Mme Alfred Savoir. Both her husbands were playwrights and she moved in the same sphere as the Hessels. Known as Miche, her charm and sweet nature greatly appealed to Vuillard, who included her in several of his paintings; she appears for instance, in middle age, seated on the left of his picture 'The Visit' of 1931 in the National Gallery, Washington, with Mme Hessel on the right. She died during the Second World War.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.758, reproduced p.758

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