Antoine Salomon will include this pastel in his forthcoming Vuillard catalogue raisonn.
By 1907 Vuillard had tired of his residence on the Rue de la Tour in the haute bourgeois Passy quarter of Paris. Seeking a less upscale neighborhood closer to his circle of friends, the artist and his mother moved in July 1908 to a fifth-floor aparment at 26 Rue de Calais in the Batignolles quarter, overlooking the Place Vintimille (now the Place Ad. Max). Before moving he completed a series of four large decorative panels, known as the Paris Streets, in which he deliberately chose less elegant views in Passy. Once installed in the Batignolles he turned his attention to the livelier streets and more varied architecture of his new surroundings, and one of his favorite views was from his window across the Place Vintimille, as seen here.
The present study is related to Vuillard's next important series of urban decorations, three large vertical panels depicting the Place Vintimille painted in 1909-1910 (coll. J.K. Thannhauser, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York). These were commissioned by Henry Bernstein, a playwright and the son of a wealthy family, who had known about the artist and his work through mutual acquintances in the theatre, and who had purchased the Paris Street series from Vuillard's dealer Galerie Bernheim-Jeune.
In the center of the study, barely visible through the branches of the tree in the foreground, stands the statue of the composer Hector Berlioz, who in the mid-19th century had lived nearby. The yellow-faced building in the distance also appears in the central panel of the decorations for Bernstein; a similar view may also be seen in one of Vuillard's own photographs of the scene.