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The Album

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

Date:
1895
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
26 3/4 x 80 1/2 in. (67.9 x 204.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 2000, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002
Accession Number:
2000.93.2
  • Description

    In 1894–95, Thadée and Misia Natanson commissioned from Vuillard a series of five decorative panels known collectively as "The Album." The unusual character of these works matched that of the Natansons' Paris apartment, a large open space adjoined by several small alcove areas. Its unconventional decor reflected Misia's taste, which was inspired by the English Arts and Crafts movement. The apartment often served as an alternative office for Thadée's lively avant-garde journal, "La Revue blanche." Among the contributors to this influential publication were Claude Debussy, Léon Blum, Stéphane Mallarmé, and André Gide. The evocative Symbolist qualities of Mallarmé's poetry and Debussy's music find echoes in Vuillard's five panels, which take their name from this painting.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower left): E. Vuillard

  • Provenance

    Thadée Natanson and his wife, née Misia Godebska (1895–1904; one of five decorative canvases, known collectively as The Album, commissioned in 1894–95, completed November 1895, and installed in their Paris apartment in or after January 1896; later installed in their summer residence Le Relais, Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, and possibly at La Grangette, Valvins, near Fontainebleau); Thadée Natanson (1904–8; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 13, 1908, no. 51, for Fr 2,000 to Rysselberghe); Théo van Rysselberghe, Paris, later Saint-Clair, Lavandou (from 1908; d. 1926); Émile Mayrisch, Colpach, Luxembourg (d. 1928); his daughter, Mme Pierre Viénot, called Andrée Pierre-Viénot (by 1928–69; sold on February 18, 1969 to Wildenstein); [Wildenstein, New York, 1969–72; sold on April 11, 1972 to Annenberg]; Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, California (1972–2000; jointly with MMA, 2000–his d. 2002; his bequest to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Galerie Siegfried Bing. "Salon de l'Art Nouveau," December 26, 1895–January 1896, part of no. 210 (as "Décoration en cinq panneaux," lent by Mme Thadée Natanson).

    Berlin. Ausstellunghaus am Kurfürstendamm. "XI Secession," Spring 1906, part of no. 296 (as "Dekorationsbilder").

    Kunsthalle Basel. "Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940), Charles Hug," March 26–May 1, 1949, no. 232 (as "Conversation," lent by Musée des Beaux Arts, Grand Duché de Luxembourg).

    Hamburg. Der Kunstverein. "Vuillard: Gemälde, Pastelle, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik," June 6–July 26, 1964, no. 88 (as "Das Album," lent from a private collection).

    Frankfurter Kunstverein. "Vuillard: Gemälde, Pastelle, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik," August 1–September 6, 1964, no. 88.

    Kunsthaus Zürich. "Vuillard: Gemälde, Pastelle, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik," September 17–October 25, 1964, no. 88.

    Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 21–September 17, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 113).

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat.

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Beyond the Easel: Decorative Painting by Bonnard, Vuillard, Denis, and Roussel, 1890–1930," June 26–September 9, 2001, no. 35 (as "Album").

  • References

    Arsène Alexandre. "L'Art nouveau." Le Figaro (December 28, 1895), p. 1.

    Edmond Cousturier. "Les Galeries S. Bing: Le Mobilier." La Revue blanche 10 (January 15, 1896), p. 93.

    Camille Mauclair. "Choses d'Art." Mercure de France 17 (February 1896), pp. 267–68.

    Édouard Vuillard. Journal. October 30, 1896 [Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France, Paris, MS 5396, carnet 2, fol. 57v. Excerpt published in Ref. Beaulieu and Beaulieu 2002, n. 8].

    Paul Signac. Journal. December 16, 1898 [excerpt published in John Rewald, "Extraits du journal inédit de Paul Signac, III, 1898–1899, Gazette des beaux arts, 42, (July–August 1953), p. 36].

    Édouard Vuillard. Journal. [1905] [Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France, Paris, MS 5396, carnet 2, fol. 78r. 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. 13v. Excerpt published in Ref. Easton 1989, p. 144].

    Achille Segard. Peintres d'aujourd'hui: Les Décorateurs. 1914, vol. 2, p. 320.

    André Chastel. Vuillard, 1868–1940. Paris, 1946, pp. 53, 115.

    Roseline Bacou. "Décors d'appartements au temps des Nabis." Art de France 4 (1964), p. 196.

    James Dugdale. "Vuillard the Decorator, I. First Phase: the 1890s." Apollo 81 (February 1965), p. 97.

    Félix Fénéon. Œuvres plus que complètes. Vol. 1, Chroniques d'art. Ed. Joan U. Halperin. Geneva, 1970, pp. 257–58, 265.

    Jan Lauts and Werner Zimmermann, eds. Katalog Neuere Meister, 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. 1 Karlsruhe, 1971, p. 289, under no. 2520.

    George L. Mauner. Columbia University. The Nabis: Their History and Their Art, 1888–1896. New York, 1978, pp. 170, 176–77, 196, 261, 268.

    Claire Frèches Thory. "'Jardins publics' de Vuillard." La Revue du Louvre et des musées de France 29 (1979), p. 312 n. 18.

    Impressionist and Modern Paintings and Sculpture (Part I). Christie’s, New York, November 14, 1989, p. 73, under no. 55.

    Elizabeth Wynne Easton. The Intimate Interiors of Edouard Vuillard. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Washington, 1989, pp. 117, 143–44.

    Claire Frèches Thory. "Les ensembles décoratifs." Les Nabis. Paris, 1990, pp. 122, 124–26, 130, ill. (color, overall and detail).

    Gloria Groom. "Landscape as Decoration: Edouard Vuillard's Ile de France Paintings for Adam Natanson." Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 16, no. 2 (1990), pp. 153, 181 n. 21.

    Jérôme Coignard. "Le Salon de peinture de Mr. et Mrs. Annenberg." Beaux Arts, no. 92 (July–August 1991), pp. 66, 72.

    Joseph J. Rishel in Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Eds. Colin B. Bailey, Joseph J. Rishel, and Mark Rosenthal. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. 112–16, 202–5, ill. (color and bw).

    Nancy Ellen Forgione. Johns Hopkins University. Edouard Vuillard in the 1890s: Intimism, Theater, and Decoration. 1992, pp. 105–6.

    Henry van de Velde. Récit de ma vie. Vol. 1, Anvers—Bruxelles—Paris—Berlin, 1863–1900. Eds. Anne van Loo and Fabrice van de Kerckhove. Brussels, 1992, p. 269.

    Gloria Groom. Édouard Vuillard, Painter Decorator: Patrons and Projects, 1892–1912. New Haven, 1993, pp. 67, 69, 71, 74, 76–77, 80–81, 85–87, 89–90, 145, 222 n. 12, p. 223 nn. 38, 44, figs. 111, 114 (color, detail and overall), figs. 149, 150 (installation photos).

    Ursula Perucchi Petri in Nabis, 1888–1900. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich. Paris, 1993, p. 342, fig. 172.1.

    Ira Berkow. "Jewels in the Desert." Artnews 97 (May 1998), pp. 148–49, ill. (color).

    Impressionist & Nineteenth Century Art. Christie’s, New York, November 18, 1998, pp. 96–97, under no. 38, fig. 3.

    Gloria Groom. Beyond the Easel: Decorative Painting by Bonnard, Vuillard, Denis, and Roussel, 1890–1930. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 2001, pp. 126–34, 266–67, no. 35, ill. (color).

    Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2000–2001." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 59 (Fall 2001), pp. 46–47, ill. (color).

    Annette Leduc Beaulieu and Brooks Beaulieu. "The Thadée Natanson Panels: A Vuillard Decoration for S. Bing's Maison de l'Art Nouveau." Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide. 1, Autumn 2002, http:// www.19thc artworldwide.org/ autumn_02/ articles/ beau.shtml .

    Kimberly Jones in Édouard Vuillard. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. Montreal, 2003, pp. 186, 188, 191, ill.

    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. 359, 430–35, 478, 480, 503, no. V 96.2, ill. (color); vol. 3, p. 1325.

    Edwin Becker in L'Art Nouveau: La Maison Bing. Eds. Gabriel P. Weisberg, Edwin Becker, and Évelyne Possémé. Exh. cat., Van Gogh Museum. Amsterdam, 2004, p. 126.

    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.

    Annette Leduc Beaulieu and Brooks Beaulieu. "Crisis and Resolution in Vuillard's Search for Art Nouveau Unity in Modern Decoration: Sources for 'The Public Gardens'." Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide. 4, Summer 2005, http:// www.19thc artworldwide.org/ summer_05/ articles/ beau.shtml.

    Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale. Sotheby’s, London, June 19, 2006, pp. 100–101, under no. 31, fig. 1 (color).

    Sabine Rewald in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 188–89, 311, no. 174, ill. (color and bw).

    Holger Jacob Friesen in Édouard Vuillard. Exh. cat., Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. Heidelberg, 2008, pp. 103–5, 109 n. 10, fig. 3 (color).

    Joseph J. Rishel in Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Eds. Susan Alyson Stein and Asher Ethan Miller. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, p. 251 n. 4, pp. 260–69, no. 49, ill. (color and bw) and p. viii (color, installation photo).

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