Antoine Salomon and Guy Cogeval will include this painting in their forthcoming supplement to the Vuillard catalogue raisonné prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.
The subject of this painting is Marthe Mellot, the Parisian stage actress, who often posed for Vuillard. She was the wife of Alfred Natanson, who with his brothers Thadée and Alexandre ran the bi-monthly periodical la Revue Blanche, dedicated to progressive ideas in many fields, ranging from art and literature to popular science and politics.
Mellot was also a colleague of the actor Aurélien Lugné-Poe, one of the Vuillards' closest friends. Lugné-Poe was responsible for the artist's participation in the theatre as a designer of sets, programs, and costumes for the Théâtre Libre, Paul Fort's Théâtre d'Art, and, from 1893, Lugné-Poe's own Théâtre de l'Oeuvre, which put on plays by Ibsen, Strindberg and Maeterlinck. When Vuillard was asked to paint decorations for the newly built Comédie des Champs-Elysées in 1912, he included two small panels, one depicting Mellot, the other Lugné-Poe, showing them applying make-up in their dressing rooms.