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Edouard Vuillard

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Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer

Vuillard

 

 

Edouard Vuillard (France, 1868–1940)
Birches at l’Etang-la-Ville (Bouleaux à l’Etang-la-Ville)
, 1896
Oil on cardboard
7 ½ x 10 in.
Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer Bequest, 2000

 

Located west of Paris, the small commune of l’Étang-la-Ville became home to a member of Les Nabis Ker-Xavier Roussel and his wife Marie, sister of fellow Les Nabis member Édouard Vuillard. Vuillard spent numerous summers there in the 1890s and painted the local environs repeatedly by using the decorative style he developed during that decade. He reduced much of this view of a garden path to basic forms of relatively undifferentiated color, save for the lively grove of birches. The distinctive bark and foliage of the trees offered Vuillard the opportunity to play with line and pattern, and the trees seem to sway and move as if under the influence of the breeze. The path invites the viewer to stroll visually through the manicured landscape and appreciate the aesthetic possibilities of the natural world.