ÉDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)
ÉDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)
ÉDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)
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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE WEST COAST COLLECTION
ÉDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)

Enfant avec gobelet

Details
ÉDOUARD VUILLARD (1868-1940)
Enfant avec gobelet
signed 'E. Vuillard' (upper left)
oil on board laid down on cradled panel
19 1⁄8 x 24 1⁄2 in. (48.6 x 62.3 cm.)
Painted in 1900-1901
Provenance
(probably) Ambroise Vollard, Paris.
Édouard Jonas, probably Paris and Wichita.
Sam Salz, New York (acquired from the above, March 1943).
Paul Rosenberg & Co., Inc., New York (acquired from the above, April 1943).
Wright S. Ludington, Santa Barbara (acquired from the above, April 1943).
Private collection (acquired from the estate of the above, circa 1992); sale, Sotheby's, New York, 6 May 2004, lot 127.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

Literature
A. Salomon and G. Cogeval, Vuillard: Le regard innombrable, Catalogue critique des peintures et pastels, Paris, 2003, vol. II, p. 608, no. VII-127 (illustrated in color).
Exhibited
Los Angeles, Dickson Art Center, An Exhibition Sponsored by the UCLA Art Council in Collaboration with the UCLA Art Galleries, from the Ludington Collection, March-April 1964, p. 23, no. 47 (titled Child in Interior).
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Child in Art, November 1979-January 1980 (dated 1902-1903).
Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, March 2018-March 2020 (on extended loan).

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Lot Essay

The inquisitive toddler in Enfant avec gobelet, peering intently into a silver tumbler that seems too large for her small hands, is Vuillard’s beloved niece Annette, born on 30 November 1898 to his sister Marie and her husband, the Nabi painter Ker-Xavier Roussel. Annette’s birth brought new peace and joy to the Roussel household, following years of marital troubles, and represented a turning point in Vuillard’s life as well. “He felt free at last of the funereal shadow that seemed to hover over the Roussels,” Antoine Salomon and Guy Cogeval have written, “and he would finally be able to play the part he had dreamed of for so long: that of the indulgent uncle” (op. cit., p. 539).
Vuillard painted this intimate and affectionate domestic scene at the Roussels’ home at L’Étang-la-Ville, outside Paris, where he and his mother often stayed for weeks at a time after Annette’s birth. Flat, modernist planes of color and decorative pattern, characteristic of Vuillard’s Nabi production, vie with a mounting interest in naturalistic depth that emerged in his interiors around the turn of the century, reflecting the lighter mood of the household as well as evolving pictorial concerns. Annette’s diminutive form is here illuminated with natural light from an unseen window, while at the far right hovers the shadowy figure of Marie or a nanny, cropped by the picture plane.
“Vuillard pays particular attention to his niece’s small gestures and her tiny rounded form, leaving the rest of the room in a comparative haze,” Elizabeth Easton has written. “Dramatic distortions of scale, like dramatic effects of light and shadow, are absent: Vuillard bathes his subject in the warmth of his evident contentment” (The Intimate Interiors of Edouard Vuillard, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1989, p. 98).
As she grew older, Annette stayed frequently with Vuillard and his mother in Paris to escape the ongoing tensions in her household. During the First World War, which Roussel spent in treatment for depression at a sanatorium in Switzerland, Annette and her younger brother Jacques were left largely in Vuillard’s care. “Annette had grown into a beautiful, melancholy, romantic young woman,” Salomon and Cogeval have written. “Vuillard was something of a second father to her, and he never lost a chance to show how highly he thought of her” (op. cit., pp. 1177 and 1245). After the war, Annette married the young painter Jacques Salomon, one of Vuillard’s most devoted admirers.

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