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Edouard VUILLARD

For an artist who broke so vigorously with tradition, the quiet personal life of Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) seems rather pedestrian.  His humble beginnings destined him to the military, which he roundly dismissed for the life of an artist.  An education in traditional settings destined him for academic painting, which he never practiced.  Yet Vuillard lived quietly with his mother in Paris, generally staying out of the public eye, and not often leaving on travels, which seem to have influenced so many of his contemporaries.  Vuillard was one of the founding members of the Nabis, some of which were childhood friends.  His prolific career as a painter shows his symbolist tendencies, though subjects of modern life influenced many of his paintings of intimacy, which would have lent themselves to symbolists esthetic.  Rather, patterns and color juxtapositions pushed him to develop a style that makes the viewer work to “read” the composition fully.  Vuillard’s lithographs are no exception to the modus operandi.

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