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    Sale 7702

    Impressionist/Modern, Day Sale

    5 February 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 313

    Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

    La porte ouverte

    Price Realised  


    Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)
    La porte ouverte
    stamped with the signature 'E.Vuillard' (Lugt no. 2497a; lower right)
    oil on cardboard
    21 1/8 x 15¾ in. (53.5 x 40 cm.)
    Painted circa 1902-1903

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    Painted in 1902-1903, The Open Door belongs to Edouard Vuillard's celebrated series of intimiste family interiors of the turn of the century. The space is alive with movement and light: the doors and window are wide open and the chairs askew, whilst a female figure bustles to the left; natural light pours in through the window on the right, whilst the curtain flutters in the breeze. The composition echoes the seventeenth-century Dutch interior scenes of Jan Vermeer, the challenging viewpoint presented by the enfilade allowing the artist great freedom in his depiction of depth and space. After 1897, when Vuillard acquired a Kodak camera, he used photographs along with sketches as the foundation of his work, which resulted in the staggered planes evident in this work. In fact, such is the complexity of the multitudinous use of frames - no fewer than four door and window frames in a single composition - that play with the viewer's notions of space and imagined depth, that the painting almost transcends its subject matter, becoming instead a semi-abstract study of shape and form.

    The influence of the interior scenes of Vuillard can be seen in works by Edward Le Bas, who owned this painting before it entered the celebrated Armand Hammer Collection, Los Angeles (cf. Edward Le Bas, Interior, 1951, Tate Modern, London, no. N06010). The Open Door was presented by the Armand Hammer Foundation to UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, circa 1971, after which it travelled around the world with the museum's exhibition of Five Centuries of Masterpieces. Armand Hammer's life-long familial, economic and cultural links with the USSR and his belief in the power of art and culture to build understanding between peoples prompted the exhibition of a group of these works in Moscow and Leningrad during the Cold War.

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    The artist's studio.
    Hanover Gallery, London.
    Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd., London.
    Edward Le Bas, Great Britain, by circa 1963.
    Anonymous sale, Christie's, Geneva, 6 November 1969, lot 164.
    UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (no. AH 1990.86), a gift from the Armand Hammer Foundation, circa 1971.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.


    The Armand Hammer Collection, Los Angeles, 1985, no. 114 (illustrated p. 198).
    A. Salomon & G. Cogeval, Vuillard, Catalogue critique des peintures et pastels, vol. II, Paris, 2003, no. VII-167 (illustrated p. 628).


    London, Royal Academy of Arts, A Painter's Collection. Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture from the Collection of Edward Le Bas, March - April 1963, no. 120.
    Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution, The Armand Hammer Collection, March - May 1970, no. 73; this exhibition later travelled to Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Museum of Art, New Orleans, Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Little Rock, Arkansas Arts Centre, San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Art Centre, San Diego, Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, London, Royal Academy of Arts, Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland, Leningrad, The Hermitage Museum, Moscow, The Pushkin Museum, Kiev, State Museum of Fine Art of the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic, Minsk, State Fine Art Museum, Riga, State Museum of Foreign Fine Arts, Odessa, Fine Arts Museum, Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, Caracas, Fine Arts Museum, Lima, Italian Art Museum, Tokyo, Ikebukuro-Seibu Museum, Kyoto, Municipal Museum of Art, Fukouka, Prefectural Culture Center Museum, Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Museum, Nashville, Tennessee Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood, Tennessee, Cheekwood Extension, Mexico City, Belles Artes, Paris, Musée de Jacquemart-Andre, Paris, Musée de Louvre Cabinet de dessins, Paris, Musée de Louvre Cabinet de dessins & Musée Jacquemart-Andre, Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Atlanta, The High Museum of Art, Denver, Art Museum, Buffalo, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Edinburgh, The National Gallery of Scotland, Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet and Stockholm, Nationalmuseum.