Edouard Vuillard French, 1868-1940

 Born at Cuiseaux, Saone-et-Loire, Vuillard studied at the Lycée Condorcet where fellow pupils included Ker-Xavier Roussel and Maurice Denis. He then studied at Académie Julian where he made friends with Bonnard and Sérusier. He was therefore closely linked with the Nabis although he was not himself attracted by Symbolism. The main influences upon his work were Gauguin and Japanese colour prints and he developed a style of flat, strongly patterned areas of colour which he also used for decorative panels, stage sets and colour prints. By the early 1900s he was already master of a quiet but subtle and sensitive manner of painting intimiste interiors in a Late-Impressionist style. From 1903 to 1914 he exhibited regularly at the Galerie Bernheim Freres; he was one of the founders of the Salon d'Automne in 1903 and exhibited there until 1911. From c. 1900 his friendship with the wealthy Hessel couple brought him commissions from the world of financiers, politicians, actresses, etc. and his paintings constitute a delightful document of the French upper middle classes during the first three decades of the twentieth century. He continued to represent his subjects in their intimate surroundings and particularly noteworthy are his series of artists depicted in their studios, which he did between 1925 and 1937. He exhibited little after 1914 but a large retrospective exhibition of his work was given at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 1938. He will remain best known for his small intimiste interiors which he painted in his own technique using distemper instead of oil to bind the pigments.