Vuillard, french painter, printmaker, and decorator, who, with
Pierre Bonnard,developed the Intimist style of painting
Vuillard met Bonnard, Paul Serusier, and Felix Vallotton while
studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and, along with
his old friends Maurice Denis and Ker-Xavier Roussel, they
formed an association called the Nabis (q.v.) that drew its
inspiration from the Synthetist works of Gauguin's Pont-Aven
period. Vuillard's “Jardin de Paris,” a series of decorative
panels, is characteristic of his mature work as a Nabi. In those
nine panels (1894; examples in the Cleveland Museum of Art;
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts of
Houston, Texas; and Musée des Beaux-Arts, Brussels), Vuillard
used pale light and discreet areas of neutral colours as flat
surface pattern to create a mood of restful calm. In contrast to
his earlier work, all modelling was avoided. Instead, unaltered
colour filled the contours of the forms depicted, producing a
two-dimensional, tapestry-like effect.
In 1899 the Nabis exhibited together for the last time. That
year Vuillard painted works that show the influence of the
techniques of Impressionism and his admiration for the subtle
interior compositions of Manet and Degas. He also executed two
series of masterful lithographs that reveal his great debt to
Japanese woodcuts, then in vogue in Europe.
Vuillard never married. He lived with his widowed mother until
her death, and the majority of his works deal with domestic
scenes set in his mother's bourgeois home. As early as 1892, his
production of small paintings of daily home life, such as “Woman
Sweeping” (c. 1892; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.), led
him to be called an Intimist.
Vuillard received numerous commissions to do decorative works.
These included the decorations (1913) in the foyer of the
Théâtre des Champs-Elysees, and murals in the Palais deChaillot
(1937) and in the League of Nations, Geneva (1939). In addition,
he did designs for the Théâtre de l'Oeuvre and the Ballets
After the turn of the century, he painted several works in his
Intimist manner. The majority of his late works, however,
lackthe charm and directness of his early work.