Edouard Vuillard
(Cuiseaux, Saône-et-Loire, 1868-1940, La Baule)
Self-Portrait, ca. 1906
Oil on canvas, 48.5 x 48.5 cm
Studio stamp lower right
Salomon/Cogeval VII-405
During his life, Vuillard spoke little about himself. Thadeé Natanson called him "the most reflective" of the Nabis. Even in the colloquies of the Nabis he was, like his friend Bonnard, more a listener than a participant. In contrast we have a few self-portraits of the artist, but they too are rather proof of meditative, probing introspection. Even though this picture of the artist with his reddish-blond "prophet’s beard", for which Ranson called him "le zouave", expresses a certain self-confidence, the doubting eyes again render it problematical. With its sketchy brush-work, with affinities to Monet’s Impressionism, it becomes intensified in the sparkling flesh tints that stand out against the grey tones and greens of the background.