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Artists Édouard Vuillard
Édouard Vuillard Photo

Édouard Vuillard

French Painter and Printmaker

Movements and Styles: Symbolism, Post-Impressionism

Born: November 11, 1868 - Cuiseaux, France

Died: June 21, 1940 - La Baule-Escoublac, France

Édouard Vuillard Timeline

Quotes

"Nothing is important save the spiritual state that enables one to subjectify one's thoughts to a sensation and to think only of the sensation, all the while searching to express it."
Édouard Vuillard
"To say that a thing is beautiful is simply an act of faith, not a measurement on some kind of scale."
Édouard Vuillard
"We perceive nature through the senses, which give us images of forms of color, sounds etc. A form which exists only in relation to another form on its own, it does not exist."
Édouard Vuillard
"Conceive of a picture really as a series of harmonies."
Édouard Vuillard
"Why is it in the familiar places that the mind and the sensibility find the greatest degree of genuine novelty?"
Édouard Vuillard

"I don't make portraits, I paint people in their homes."

Édouard Vuillard Signature

Synopsis

Édouard Vuillard was a member of the Symbolist group known as Les Nabis (from the Hebrew and Arabic term for "prophets" and, by extension, the artist as the "seer" who reveals the invisible). However, he was less drawn to the mystical aspects of the group and more drawn to fashionable private venues where philosophical discussions about poetry, music, theatre, and the occult occurred. Because of his preference for the painting of interior and domestic scenes, he is often referred to as an "intimist," along with his friend Pierre Bonnard. He executed some of these "intimist" works in small scale, while others were conceived on a much larger scale made for the interiors of the people who commissioned the work.

Key Ideas

For Vuillard, reticent by nature, the subject of the interior served as a symbol for the interior self, separate from the rest of the world. This is an aspect of a modernist idea - the notion that one's personal viewpoint, a subjective view of reality, can gain insight into the truth.
As a Symbolist painter and part of the fin-de-siècle escape into the aesthetic, Vuillard employed flat patterns into which his figures were embedded in order to express both emotion and ideas. This kind of abstract painting evolved to communicate ideas not expressible through traditional painterly means. Color and shape could represent experiences that are difficult to express in words.
Although the Symbolists were, in general, anti-utilitarian (and more art-for-art's sake), Vuillard created large-scale screens and murals that were architectural in conception (and part of the "applied arts"). These large-scale works - intended for the use of interior decoration - linked him to other modernists' search for the "total work of art" (the Gesamtkunstwerk) that would help unify society, but updated it to function in contemporary interior spaces.

Biography

Édouard Vuillard Photo

Childhood and Early Training

Jean-Édouard Vuillard, the son of a retired captain, spent his youth at Cuiseaux (Saone-et-Loire), France. But in 1878 his family moved to Paris in modest circumstances. After his father's death in 1884, Vuillard received a scholarship to continue his education. In the Lycée Condorcet, Vuillard met Ker Xavier Roussel (also a future painter and Vuillard's future brother-in-law), Maurice Denis, musician Pierre Hermant, and writer ierre Véber, among others. Vuillard began visiting the Louvre regularly, which influenced his decision to become an artist, but broke with the family tradition of an army career. In 1885, Vuillard left the Lycée Condorcet and joined Roussel at the studio of painter Diogène Maillart. There, Roussel and Vuillard received the rudiments of artistic training. In March 1886, Vuillard embarked upon the fairly rigid curriculum at the Académie Julian where he was taught by Tony Robert-Fleury, and met Pierre Bonnard, with whom he shared a studio.

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Édouard Vuillard Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Édouard Vuillard
Interactive chart with Édouard Vuillard's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Jean-Baptiste Simeon ChardinJean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin
Paul SérusierPaul Sérusier
Claude MonetClaude Monet
Edgar DegasEdgar Degas
Pierre Puvis de ChavannesPierre Puvis de Chavannes

Personal Contacts

Maurice DenisMaurice Denis
Pierre BonnardPierre Bonnard
Ker-Xavier RousselKer-Xavier Roussel

Movements

Post-ImpressionismPost-Impressionism
SymbolismSymbolism
SynthetismSynthetism
JaponismJaponism

Influences on Artist
Édouard Vuillard
Édouard Vuillard
Years Worked: 1887-1938
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Stéphane MallarméStéphane Mallarmé
Paul SignacPaul Signac
Walter SickertWalter Sickert
Henri MatisseHenri Matisse

Personal Contacts

Maurice DenisMaurice Denis
Pierre BonnardPierre Bonnard

Movements

Les NabisLes Nabis
Post-ImpressionismPost-Impressionism
DivisionismDivisionism
FauvismFauvism

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Content compiled and written by Katlyn Beaver

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Katlyn Beaver
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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