|"Lunch In Normandy" by Edouard Vuillard.|
Edouard Vuillard was born in Cuiseaux, Saone-et-Loire, France 1868 and he died in 1940. His family moved to Paris when Edouard was nine, and during the rest of his life he rarely went far from Montmartre, where his mother, to whom he was devoted, ran a dressmaking shop. He was enrolled in the Military Academy of St. Cyr, but gave it up to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts with his friends Maurice Denis and K. X. Roussel. In 1888 the three young artists enrolled in the Academie Jullian, where they met Serusier, Ranson, Piot and Bonnard, and formed the group called the Nabis. Vuillard's early paintings, mostly still lifes and small portraits, revealed a debt to Chardin and Corot, but by 1890 the influence of Gauguin and the Japanese was apparent in his simplification of form and his use of color in the painting "La Femme Endormie." He had his first exhibition in the rooms of the Revue Blanche, one of the meeting places of the Nabis, in 1891 and, about the same time, began exhibiting in the Nabis group shows at Le Bare de Boutteville's. With his friends, he helped establish the Theatre de l'CEuvre, and designed scenery for its productions. From 1893 until the beginning of World War I he painted a number of decorative panels such as "Le Jardin des Tuileries" (nine panels now in the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris), did scenic designs for the Comedie des Champs Elysees and the Theatre de Chaillot, and produced many lithographs and easel paintings, particularly the intimate interior scenes in which the figures of his mother and close friends appear. After 1918 his style changed to a more emphatic Realism and in the thirties he did a series of commissioned portraits of fashionable people. In his last years he painted decorative murals for the Palais de Chaillot in Paris and the League of Nations in Geneva. A master of the intimate, who could create a whole world in his bourgeois Victorian interiors, Vuillard always remained outside the main stream of the aesthetic of
his time. He died in La Baule in June, 1940, a short time after leaving Paris to escape the advancing Nazis.