Distemper on fabric
Framed: 229.9 x 113 x 11.4 cm (90 1/2 x 44 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.); Unframed: 214.2 x 96.3 cm (84 5/16 x 37 15/16 in.)
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Gift of the Hanna Fund 1953.212
Vuillard's social circle included actors and directors. He often contributed to their theatrical pursuits by designing costumes, programs, and set pieces. In this panel from a nine-part series, a patterned landscape recalls scenery for the stage. Imagine seeing the panels reunited in their original location: the luxurious dining room of a Parisian mansion.
This canvas is one of nine panels that originally formed a cycle titled The Public Gardens. Alexandre Natanson commissioned the cycle to decorate the living room of his Paris townhouse. The simplified and flattened forms, along with the use of vertical space, reflect the influence of Japanese screens. Vuillard painted this series in distemper-a glue-based medium more commonly used for theater sets-which produces matte surfaces and flat, decorative forms.
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