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    Sale 7600

    Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

    25 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 605

    Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

    Madame Hessel dans sa chambre au Château des Clayes

    Price Realised  


    Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)
    Madame Hessel dans sa chambre au Château des Clayes
    signed 'E.Vuillard' (lower right)
    oil on panel
    16 1/8 x 12 7/8 in. (41.1 x 32.8 cm.)
    Painted circa 1930-1935

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    The present work depicts Lucy Hessel in her bedroom at the Château des Clayes near Versailles. This was the estate owned by Vuillard's long standing friend and art dealer Jos Hessel (who originally owned this picture). Together with his brother, Gaston, Jos Hessel ran Galerie Bernheim-Jeune. Vuillard met the Hessels in 1900 while visiting Felix Vallotton near Lausanne, and they quickly became friends. Vuillard was a frequent visitor to the Hessel's Parisian apartment and from 1925 to the end of his life, the Hessels put the Château des Clayes at the artist's disposal, so convenient for him because of its proximity to Paris. Antoine Salomon and Guy Cogeval have commented on this work that 'as is always the case when portraying his own room, the artist clearly contrives to depict the scene before his eyes all but entirely reflected in a mirror. As a result, Lucy is thrust into the background, which paradoxically only makes her look more present than ever. The angle of vision Vuillard adopts transforms her tidy room into a sprawling chaos, a storeroom packed with relics from the past. A photograph of the room published alongside an article on Les Clayes in La Renaissance shows the fireplace mirror, the painted crystal balls on the mantelpiece, the Pompadour-style canopy above the bed, the table with barley-twist legs and Lucy's writing table. The framed canvas in the foreground of the painting appears to be a Bonnard, perhaps one of his landscapes at Vernon' (A. Salomon & G. Cogeval, op. cit. p. 1551).

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    From time to time, Christie's may offer a lot which it owns in whole or in part. This is such a lot.


    Jos Hessel, Paris.
    Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York, by 1935.
    Private collection, Paris; sale, Christie's, London, 25 June 1996, lot 3.


    A. Salomon & G. Cogeval, Vuillard, Catalogue critique des peintures et pastels, vol. III, Paris, 2003, no. XII-182 (illustrated p. 1551).


    Paris, Galerie Schmit, Maîtres français XIXe-XXe siècles, May - July 1991, no. 40 (illustrated).