Sunday, May 3, 2015

Édouard Vuillard, Landscape at Saint-Jacut

Édouard Vuillard, Landscape at Saint-Jacut, 1909
34.06 c 76.38 in.

Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940) was a French painter and printmaker.  Vuillard was born in Cuiseaux before moving to Paris with his family when he was ten.  He attended the famed Lycée Condorcet, which turned out such notable students as Marcel Proust, Paul Verlaine, and Jean-Pal Sartre. There he developed a close circle of artistic friends, one of whom, Ker Xavier Roussel, encouraged Vuillard to join a painter's studio with him.  The two learned rudimentary painting skills there, and Vuillard was eventually accepted into the École des Beaux-Arts.  He joined the Nabis, a group of Post-Impressionist artists who were particularly influenced by Gauguin and Cezanne and who utilized some of the ideas of art nouveau by engaging with a wider variety of media.  Vuillard's reputation developed through the 1890s, as he had national and international success.  Vuillard's work often consisted of domestic interiors and shows a fairly consistent style.  He also was known to use rather bright colors, especially early in his career.  He painted numerous portraits and garden scenes, and also applied his sweeping brushwork to landscape.  Landscape at Saint-Jacut is a beautiful example of this capability.  Here the entire painting looks like flowing water due to the smooth line of Vuillard's brushstrokes.  The colors are softly applied, recalling Cezanne. Some of the forms are rather crudely rendered, but their presence and essence are effectively portrayed.  There is a serene quietude to this scene, even as a breeze blows over the clouds and through the trees

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