Self-Portrait with Waroquy

Édouard Vuillard (French, Cuiseaux 1868–1940 La Baule)

Oil on canvas
36 1/2 x 28 1/2 in. (92.7 x 72.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Alex M. Lewyt, 1955
Accession Number:
  • Description

    In his sober, high-collared garment, the pensive twenty-three year old Vuillard might be taken for a civil servant or a clergyman. Only the palette and paintbrushes in his right hand identify him as a painter. The artist’s friend Waroquy, with a cigarette between his lips, looms behind, his facial features and his body rendered more vaguely. Waroquy’s name appears frequently in Vuillard’s journal during 1888–89, although today nearly nothing is known about him.
    The dreamlike quality of the picture derives from the fact that it is a mirror image. This is understood by the small bottle at the lower right, which is placed in front of the mirror and is also reflected in it. According to one of Vuillard’s autobiographical journal entries, he posed in front of a mirror in the bedroom of the apartment of his beloved Grandmother Michaud, in the rue de Miromesnil in Paris.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower left): E. Vuillard

  • Provenance

    the artist (possibly until d. 1940); his brother-in-law, Ker Xavier Roussel, Paris (possibly by inheritance, 1940–d. 1944); his son, Jacques Roussel, Paris (1944–probably 1949; sold to Salz); [Sam Salz, New York (1949–53; sold on February 3, 1953, to Lewyt]; Alex M. Lewyt, New York (1953–55; his gift to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Galerie Charpentier. "Vuillard," October 8–December 5, 1948, no. 4 (as "Vuillard et son ami Varoquy," 1890).

    Kunsthalle Basel. "Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940), Charles Hug," March 26–May 1, 1949, no. 35 (as "Vuillard à la palette," about 1888, lent from a private collection, Paris).

    Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "Great Portraits by Famous Painters," November 13–December 21, 1952, no. 46 (as "Self Portrait with his Friend Varocquez," 1892, lent by Sam Salz, Inc., New York).

    Cleveland Museum of Art. "Édouard Vuillard," January 26–March 14, 1954, unnumbered cat. (p. 29; as "Vuillard and His Friend Varocquez," 1888–90, lent by Alex Lewyt, New York).

    Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Édouard Vuillard," April 7–June 6, 1954, unnumbered cat.

    Bronx Museum of the Arts. "I and My World," April 8–May 31, 1974, no catalogue.

    Yokohama Museum of Art. "Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century," March 25–June 4, 1989, no. 153 (as "Vuillard and His Friend Varoqui").

    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Intimate Interiors of Édouard Vuillard," November 18, 1989–January 29, 1990, no. 1 (as "Portrait of Vuillard and Waroquy").

    Washington. The Phillips Collection. "The Intimate Interiors of Édouard Vuillard," February 17–April 29, 1990, no. 1.

    Brooklyn Museum of Art. "The Intimate Interiors of Édouard Vuillard," May 18–July 30, 1990, no. 1.

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Édouard Vuillard," January 19–April 20, 2003, no. 1 (as "Vuillard and Waroquy").

    The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Édouard Vuillard," May 15–August 24, 2003, no. 1.

    Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "Édouard Vuillard," September 23, 2003–January 4, 2004, no. 1.

    London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Édouard Vuillard," January 31–April 18, 2004, no. 1.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800 1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 117 (as "Self Portrait with a Friend").

    Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat. (p. 239; as "Vuillard mit einem Freund [Vuillard et son ami]").

    New York. The Jewish Museum. "Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and His Muses, 1890–1940," May 4–September 23, 2012, unnumbered cat. (p. 7).

  • References

    Édouard Vuillard. Journal. [1905] [Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France, Paris, MS 5396, carnet 2, fol. 77v. Excerpt published in Ref. Easton 1989, p. 143].

    Édouard Vuillard. Journal. November 11–12, 1908 [Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France, Paris, MS 5397, carnet 2, fol. 12. Excerpt published in Ref. Easton 1989, p. 144].

    Claude Roger Marx. Vuillard, His Life and Work. New York, 1946, ill. p. 26.

    Andrew Carnduff Ritchie. Édouard Vuillard. Exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art. New York, 1954, pp. 10, 100, ill. p. 29.

    Theodore Rousseau, Jr. "New Accessions of Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 14 (April 1956), pp. 198–99, ill.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 212–13, ill.

    John Russell. Édouard Vuillard, 1868–1940. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. London, 1971, p. 16.

    Stuart Preston. Édouard Vuillard. New York, [1972], fig. 2.

    Lucy Oakley. Edouard Vuillard. New York, 1981, pp. 5, 17, colorpl. 1.

    Patricia Ciaffa. Columbia University. The Portraits of Edouard Vuillard. 1985, pp. 91–103, 105, 109, fig. 8.

    Belinda Thomson. Vuillard. New York, 1988, p. 16, colorpl. 6.

    Elizabeth Wynne Easton. The Intimate Interiors of Edouard Vuillard. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Washington, 1989, pp. 13–14, 133 nn. 3, 5, pp. 143–44, colorpl. 1.

    Michel Makarius. Vuillard. Paris, 1989, ill. p. 82.

    Lowery S. Sims in Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Exh. cat., Yokohama Museum of Art. Tokyo, 1989, p. 191, no. 153, ill. (color).

    Henry Claude Cousseau and Deepak Ananth in Vuillard. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux Arts, Lyon. Paris, 1990, pp. 161–63, ill.

    Nancy Ellen Forgione. Johns Hopkins University. Edouard Vuillard in the 1890s: Intimism, Theater, and Decoration. 1992, pp. 95–96, 114–16, fig. 50.

    Gloria Groom. Édouard Vuillard, Painter Decorator: Patrons and Projects, 1892–1912. New Haven, 1993, pp. 8, 210 n. 26, colorpl. 6.

    Annette Leduc Beaulieu. "Edouard Vuillard." Apollo 157 (May 2003), p. 55.

    Guy Cogeval in Édouard Vuillard. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. Montreal, 2003, pp. 54, 475, no. 1, ill. (color).

    Antoine Salomon and Guy Cogeval, with the collaboration of Mathias Chivot. Vuillard, the Inexhaustible Glance: Critical Catalogue of Paintings and Pastels. Milan, 2003, vol. 1, pp. 61–62, 65, 72, 78, 81, no. I 97, ill. pp. 2, 61 (color, overall and detail).

    Katherine M. Kuenzli. "Painting and Memory in the Career of Édouard Vuillard." Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide. 3, Spring 2004, http://www.19thc artworldwide.org/index.php/spring04/276 edouard vuillard.

    Sabine Rewald in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 158–59, 260–61, no. 117, ill. (color, overall and detail, and bw).

    Roberta Smith. "Artists Caught in the Act." New York Times (January 5, 2007), p. E44, ill.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History