Vuillard and the Artwork of Japan

Fondation de l’Hermitage 

23.06 – 29.10.2023  

In the summertime of 2023, the Fondation de l’Hermitage is revisiting the work of Nabi grasp Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940), seen via the lens of Japonism that took Paris by storm on the flip of the twentieth century. Centred on the fragile panorama held at l’Hermitage, La Maison de Roussel à La Montagne (1900), the exhibition reveals the essential affect of Japanese artwork on Vuillard’s work. The artist was an excellent collector of ukiyo-e prints, during which he discovered codecs of a sort hitherto unknown within the Europe, radical compositions and framing, and weird motifs, all of which tremendously enriched his aesthetic language. Round 100 work and engravings of scenes of on a regular basis life and nature, created by Vuillard between the Eighteen Nineties and the First World Conflict, are proven right here in dialogue with some fifty Japanese masterpieces.    


It was virtually definitely the nice exhibition of Japanese artwork of 1890 on the École des Beaux-Arts that fostered Vuillard’s curiosity in Japanese aesthetics, which had hitherto remained largely unknown on the academy circuits. Whereas all of the Nabi painters appreciated Japanese artwork – and first amongst them Pierre Bonnard, who was often known as the “Nabi japonard” – it was Vuillard who collected the best variety of prints, buying a complete of 180 for low costs at Le Bon Marché and Printemps. These works depicting landscapes, geishas or kabuki actors are by Japanese woodcut masters equivalent to Hiroshige, Hokusai, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi, Eisan and Utamaro. Among the works may be seen pinned to the wall in images of Vuillard’s studio living-room. His assortment additionally contained a number of illustrated books, together with quantity 6 of Hokusai’s Manga.   


Within the years 1890-1914 Vuillard’s work, drawings and lithographs had been deeply imbued with references to Japanese artwork. Just like the ukiyo-e masters, he celebrated on a regular basis life and nature. Avoiding any facile exoticism, he enriched his artwork by freely adopting Japanese codes, which provided him totally new codecs, viewpoints and asymmetrical compositions. Usually he deserted Albertian perspective, creating a way of area via the daring juxtaposition of a detailed foreground with a distant background. He additionally turned away from portraying reduction and three-dimensional shapes, as an alternative exploring the potential of plain colors, arabesques and textural results to create types.   


The exhibition is organised across the totally different genres during which Vuillard labored, seen via the lens of Japanese aesthetics. The artist’s extremely private strategy is explored via Scenes of odd life, Screens and kakemonos, Prints and graphic arts and The Surprise of Nature. Additionally on show is a bunch of work by Vuillard’s Nabi associates who had been tremendously influenced by Japanese artwork, together with Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Paul Élie Ranson and Félix Vallotton.  


The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated e-book containing a number of essays on the artist and his work by Marina Ferretti, Isabelle Cahn, Matthias Chivot and Corinne Currat. The editor is Marina Ferretti and {the catalogue} is copublished with Snoeck in Ghent.   


Sylvie Wuhrmann Director, Fondation de l’Hermitage Corinne Currat Assistant Curator, Fondation de l’Hermitage  LENDERS Many museums have lent works for this exhibition, together with Musée d’Orsay et Musée Nationwide Picasso-Paris, Musée des Beaux-Arts (Rheims), Musée de l’Annonciade (Saint-Tropez), Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, The Nationwide Gallery of Sofia, Statens Museum for Kunst (Copenhagen), Musée d’artwork et d’histoire de Genève, Musée Jenisch Vevey, Kunst Museum Winthertur, Tate (London), The Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge).


Édouard Vuillard
La Maison de Roussel à La Montagne, vers 1900
Huile sur carton, 29,5 x 33 cm
Fondation de l’Hermitage, Lausanne, legs de Lucie Schmidheiny, 1998
© photograph Eric Frigière, Saint-Légier

Édouard Vuillard
Deux femmes sous la lampe, 1892
Huile sur toile marouflée sur bois, 33 x 41,5 cm
Centre Pompidou, Paris. Musée nationwide d’artwork moderne-Centre de création industrielle
En dépôt au musée de l’Annonciade, Saint-Tropez
Legs de Georges Grammont, 1959
© photograph Assortment Musée de l’Annonciade, Saint-Tropez

Édouard Vuillard
Au lit, 1891
Huile sur toile, 74 x 92 cm
Musée d’Orsay, Paris, legs verbal d’Édouard Vuillard, exécuté grâce à M. et Mme Okay. X. Roussel, beau-frère et sœur de l’artiste, 1941
© photograph RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Sylvie Chan-Liat

Édouard Vuillard
Le Crépuscule à Pouliguen, 1908
Peinture à la colle sur papier, marouflé sur toile, 78 x 148 cm
Assortment particulière
© photograph DR

Édouard Vuillard
Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, vue du Relais vers l’entrée du parc, 1897-1899
Huile sur carton, 40,8 x 29,5 cm
Assortment particulière, Suisse
© photograph Peter Schälchli, Zurich

Édouard Vuillard
Femme de profil au chapeau vert, vers 1891
Huile sur carton, 21 x 17 cm
Musée d’Orsay, Paris, dation, 1990
© photograph RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Jean-Marc Anglès

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)
[Femme se coiffant, un miroir dans la main], vers 1800-1865
Gravure sur bois en couleurs sur papier japon, 36 x 24,4 cm
Musée Jenisch Vevey – Cupboard cantonal des estampes, Assortment de la Ville de Vevey
© photograph Musée Jenisch Vevey / Julien Gremaud

Édouard Vuillard
Les Gros Nuages, 1909
Pastel sur papier, 24 x 31 cm
Assortment particulière, Paris
© photograph de Bayser


Édouard Vuillard
L’Avenue, planche 2 de la série Paysages et intérieurs, 1899
Lithographie, 33 x 45 cm
Assortment particulière
© photograph Peter Schälchli, Zurich

Édouard Vuillard
Le Salon des Natanson, rue Saint-Florentin, 1897-1898
Huile sur papier, contrecollé sur panneau parqueté, 45,5 x 51,5 cm
Assortment Emil Bührle, en dépôt au Kunsthaus Zürich
© photograph Assortment Emil Bührle

Édouard Vuillard
Marine (Saint-Jacut), 1909
Peinture à la colle sur papier marouflé sur toile, 70,8 x 87 cm
Assortment particulière
© photograph Peter Schälchli, Zürich

Édouard Vuillard
Les Collines bleues, 1900
Huile sur carton, 42,5 x 68 cm
Kunsthaus Zürich, legs du Dr Hans Schuler, 1920
© photograph Kunsthaus Zürich

Édouard Vuillard
Grand-mère et enfant au lit bleu, 1899
Huile sur carton, 46,5 x 53 cm
Kunst Museum Winterthur
© photograph SIK-ISEA, Zürich / Lutz Hartmann

Édouard Vuillard
Pierrot, 1890-1891
Pinceau, encre et aquarelle sur crayon léger sur papier rigide jauni, découpé en forme d’éventail uchiwa, 20,4 x 17,3 cm
SMK, Nationwide Gallery of Denmark
© photograph SMK / Jakob Skou-Hansen