VUILLARD, Édouard
(b. 1868, Cuiseaux, d. 1940, La Baule)

Biography

French painter, printmaker, and decorator. He was the son of a retired army officer. The family moved to Paris in 1877 and Vuillard trained under Jean-Léon Gérôme at the École des Beaux-Arts from 1886 and the Académie Julian from 1888. There he met Pierre Bonnard and other painters with whom he founded the Nabis in 1889 (the name derived from the Hebrew for prophet). The group, influenced by Gauguin and Degas, concentrated on pattern and distortion to emphasise psychological meanings beyond appearances in ordinary domestic subjects, though Bonnard and Vuillard returned by the end of the century to a more naturalistic style.

Vuilllard had a long career spanned the fin-de-siècle and the first four decades of the 20th century. Widely admired during his career, Vuillard enjoyed a steady flow of commissions after 1905. He is known as a quintessentially Parisian artist, beginning with early academic studies through experimental Nabis paintings of the 1890s. He is also known for his work associated with the avant-garde theatre, as well as large-scale decorations, landscapes, portraits and drawings, graphics, and photographs.

He received numerous commissions to decorate public buildings, including murals in the Palais de Chaillot (1937) and in the League of Nations building in Geneva (1939), and also designed for the Ballets Russes.

He taught at the Académie Ranson in Paris in 1908. Vuillard and Bonnard were the two main representatives of Intimisme. He was elected to the Institut in 1938.