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Post-Impressionism

Edouard Vuillard survey to visit four cities, starting at Washington's National Gallery of Art

A complete picture of the post-Impressionist master that does not shy away from his 20th-century activity

This definitive survey of Vuillard’s oeuvre has more than 200 works touring to four cities, Washington (19 January-20 April), Montreal, Paris and London. Best known as an avant-garde painter of Parisian society of the Belle Epoque, Vuillard played a key role in the Nabis movement. Among the exhibition’s highlights will be the reassembly of his great decorative ensemble, “The public gardens” of 1894. A selection of Symbolist theatre programmes for the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre are to be shown (above, design for a programme for the Théâtre-Libre, 1891). From around 1900 Vuillard increasingly turned to a more naturalistic style, becoming the main practitioner (with Bonnard) of Intimisme, capturing middle-class domestic scenes. Although Vuillard’s early pictures are best-known, he painted up until his death in 1940; his later work is often ignored, and curator (and Montreal museum director) Guy Cogeval promises to present him as a “20th-century artist”. One of the surprises will be an important selection of photographs by Vuillard, who passionately embraced this technology in 1897. Most of these photos, mainly of family and friends, have remained unpublished. The wide range of his media, ranging from folding screens to ceramics, will testify to the artist’s talents. To coincide with the show (and in addition to the 520-page exhibition catalogue), Dr Cogeval’s Vuillard: critical catalogue of paintings and pastels will be published by Skira in June.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Edouard Vuillard: Post-Impressionist master'