Monday, September 13, 2010
"Peaceful Sunday Afternoon"

Interior of a Bedroom, 1908
Édouard Vuillard, French, 1868-1940
Phoenix Art Museum, 1964-211
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald D. Harrington

The lady in Vuillard's painting looks like she's having a peaceful Sunday afternoon. What is she doing at her table? Perhaps she is reading or writing a letter. I can almost imagine the green framed picture in front of her is a computer monitor, and her peaceful Sunday afternoon matched mine yesterday. Her weather is nice, the cool breeze is coming through the open windows, and at least we now have cool open window sleeping.

"Although he was well-acquainted with this woman, Vuillard has painted Lucy Hessel, the wife of his dealer, in an impersonal way. Figure and setting have equal weight and are inseparable in Vuillard's paintings. He was not concerned with the personality or psychological state of the sitter, perferring to paint from memory rather than direct observation. He once stated, "I don't paint portraits, I paint pictures of people in their homes."

"The artist creates a sense of space and depth by the tilt of the floor and the angle of the ceiling. The sunlight streaming in from the large windows on the left suffuses the room with light and atmosphere."
(From info card)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
"More Art..."

Vuillard's painting reminded of some interior scenes I'd seen at the Met museum last year. I've shared Pierre Bonnard's "Dressing Room" earlier. I remembered another interior scene which I hadn't shared before, also by Bonnard:

The Green Blouse, 1919
Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867–1947)
Oil on canvas, H. 40-1/8, W. 26-7/8 inches (101.9 x 68.3 cm.)
MMA 63.64
The Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ittleson Jr. Purchase Fund, 1963

Is Bonnard any better at showing personality? Wikipedia gives authors Cowling and Mundy as source, "Bonnard did not paint from life but rather drew his subject—sometimes photographing it as well—and made notes on the colors. He then painted the canvas in his studio from his notes." (On Classic Ground: Picasso, Léger, de Chirico and the New Classicism 1910-1930, p. 38). So he proceeded in a similar fashion as did Vuillard.

But at least he had his drawings for reference. Here's one of my Saturday drawings from life:

He was supposed to evoke the mood of Cezanne's bathers...

While hunting for the painting of the lady in the green shirt, I came across a sculpture from MOMA that I haven't shared:

The River, begun 1938-9, completed 1943 (cast 1948)
Aristide Maillol, French, 1861-1944
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund, 1949

I can almost hear the model saying 'Take the dang photograph NOW, I can't hold this pose much longer!"

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