The complex architecture of this interior suggests that it was painted in the studio where Vuillard worked as a set painter. The figure shown before the staircase may be Vuillard’s mother, a seamstress, who appears to be crouching over a balustrade either working on a garment or in pensive repose. Starting in 1889, Vuillard was associated with a group of young avant-garde artists who called themselves the Nabi (Hebrew for “prophet”). They painted from memory, unlike their predecessors, the Impressionists, who painted of the moment.
Signature: Signed (lower right): E. Vuillard
G. Bernheim, Paris; Alphonse Bellier, Paris; Jacques Seligmann & Co., New York; acquired from Jacques Seligmann & Co., New York, by Robert Lehman, New York, November 1948.
Jacques Seligmann Gallery. É. Vuillard (1865-1940), His Dynamic Early Period. Exh. cat.New York, 1948.
The Lehman Collection, New York. Exh. cat.Cincinnati, 1959.
George Mauner. The Nabis, Their History and Their Art, 1888-1896. New York, 1978.
George Szabo. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: XIX & XX Century Paintings from the Robert Lehman Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat.Oaklohoma City, 1983.
George Szabo. Franske mestervaerker: Malerier og tegninger fra det 19. og 20. århundrede fra Robert Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / French Masterpieces: XIX and XX Century Paintings and Drawings, from the Robert Lehman Collection of the Metrop. Exh. cat.Copenhagen, 1986.
Antoine Salomon Guy Cogeval. Vuillard: The Inexhaustible Glance: Critical Catalogue of Paintings and Pastels. Vol. 1, Milan and Paris, 2003.
Richard R. Brettell, Paul Hayes Tucker, Natalie H. Lee. The Robert Lehman Collection: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Paintings. Vol. 3, New York, 2009.