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Edouard Vuillard was so secretive that he berated himself for betraying his emotions in conversation. He was a reticent, impassioned man, a timid stalker and a social climbing anarchist, caught in conflicting desires. From the 1880s until the advent of World War II, using styles from academic to Pointillist to Nabi to Fauve, he abundantly revealed his love and hatred in his paintings: models pose beside a plaster torso cast from the Venus of Milo, women appear without faces, anxiety radiates from many masterpieces, while other works were left unfinished for months or years.
Drawing on insights and images from Vuillard’s still unpublished diaries, Julia Frey takes the reader into Vuillard’s private world of cabarets, experimental theatres, holiday resorts and intimate boudoirs, showing how his art reflects his fraught personal relations and his artistic struggles. Frey chooses many of his finest works, from the famous intimate interior scenes to book illustrations and poster designs, and examines his complex relationships with friends such as Pierre Bonnard, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Stephane Mallarme, Felix Vallotton, and the women he loved: his mother and sister, penniless models and rich men’s wives.
’A new and intimate look at Vuillard…the book is engaging and personal, appealing to readers who are both new to and familiar with its subject.’ – Britany Salsbury, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, The Cleveland Museum of Art
’Densely illustrated with Vuillard’s personal jottings and sketches to full blown paintings, this is a breakthrough in artist biography, offering bold and fascinating interpretations of recurring motifs, gestures and other symbols.’ – Gloria Groom, Chair of European Painting and Sculpture, the Art Institute of Chicago
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