Edouard Vuillard (1868 - 1940), c. 1892
oil on cardboard,
24 cm x 20 cm
Credits: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (purchased with support from the BankGiro Loterij)
This picture is so dominated by decorative patterns and colour planes that the subject may not be immediately obvious. The picture shows a woman, seen from behind, with a scarf tied around her head. She was probably Vuillard’s sister Marie. She had the mumps and was hiding her swollen cheek.
As the son of a seamstress, Vuillard grew up surrounded by colourful lengths of cloth. This is reflected in his paintings, where his mother’s apartment often provides the setting, as it does here.