Edouard VUILLARD (Cuiseaux 1868 - La Baule 1940)

Landscape with a Little Girl, a Dog and a Goat: Study for a Decorative Panel Sold

Pencil and pastel, on a page from a small sketchbook.
Stamped with a Vuillard atelier stamp (Lugt 909c) at the lower right.
156 x 105 mm. (6 1/8 x 4 1/8 in.)

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The present sheet is closely related to large painting by Vuillard of a Landscape with a Little Girl, Dog and Goat, last recorded on the art market in Switzerland in the 1970s. Mathias Chivot has recently suggested that the present sheet may also represent a first idea for one of the decorative mural panels commissioned from Vuillard by his art dealers, the brothers Josse and Gaston Bernheim, to decorate the ground floor of Bois-Lurette, their summer villa at Villers-sur-Mer, a seaside resort on the Normandy coast between Trouville and Cabourg. This series of thirteen large murals was painted over a period of three successive summers, in 1911, 1912 and 1913. The first panels to be painted, in August and September of 1911, were depictions of the garden at Les Pavillons, the villa at Cricqueboeuf in Normandy rented for the summer by Vuillard’s close friends Jos and Lucy Hessel. Two of these panels show Lucy Hessel accompanied by Denise Natanson, the young daughter of Vuillard’s friends and patrons Alfred and Marthe Natanson, playing in the garden with a small dog, and it may have been while the artist was working out the compositions for this pair of upright panels that this little sketchbook page was drawn.

As MaryAnne Stevens and Kimberly Jones have noted of the Bois-Lurette paintings, ‘The initial commission for these panels appears to date from August 10, 1911, when Vuillard lunched with the Bernheims at their villa while he was vacationing at Cricqueboeuf. Within days he was at work on the first group of paintings...Vuillard kept to his now standard practice of undertaking a rigorous preparation, producing small sketches in charcoal and pastel prior to attacking the large-scale work in distemper. Unlike so many of his earlier decorations, which were constructed in the studio from sketches and photographs...the Bois Lurette canvases were executed on site.’

The paintings for Bois-Lurette, for which Vuillard was paid 15,000 francs, were fitted into the wood panelling of the ground floor rooms of the villa, where they remained until the property was sold by the Bernheims in 1933. The paintings were removed from the walls of the villa in 1933 and reworked by Vuillard the following year, before eventually being dispersed.

The present sheet is accompanied by a certificate from the Comité Vuillard of the Wildenstein Institute, dated 12 July 2016.

Provenance:
The artist’s studio, Paris
Thence by descent in the family of the artist.

Literature:
To be included in the forthcoming supplement to the Vuillard catalogue raisonné.

Edouard VUILLARD

Landscape with a Little Girl, a Dog and a Goat: Study for a Decorative Panel

A1136

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