About this artwork

This painting shows Vuillard's obsession with pattern and texture. The designs on the wallpaper and tablecloth are depicted in great detail. However, each element in the painting is given equal weight and the whole composition is unified by little dabs of paint. Vuillard often painted with a dry, sticky type of paint, known as 'colle' on soft, brown cardboard. He would frequently leave some parts of the board unpainted, as can be seen in the bottom right area of this picture, to form the neutral tone.

Edouard Vuillard

Edouard Vuillard

Vuillard was born near Lyon, but the family moved to Paris in 1878. His father died when he was fifteen and thereafter his mother, who ran a small corset and dress-making business from home, became the dominant influence in his life. Many of Vuillard's paintings of the turn of the century are small in scale and depict apparently mundane interiors or record everyday episodes in domestic, middle-class life. These were subjects few other artists thought worthy of attention. His paintings of this type are usually referred to as 'intimiste'.