Edouard Vuillard (1868 - 1940), c. 1892
oil on cardboard, 24 cm x 20 cm
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.