Vuillard Edouard

B. Cuisaux, 1868 - d. La Baule, 1940

The Absinth Drinker, ca.1902, oil on cardboard mounted on canvasThe Absinth Drinker, ca.1902, oil on cardboard mounted on canvasEdouard Vuillard was a major figure in the Nabis group, who at the end of the nineteenth century sought to combine the bent, undulating line of Art-Nouveau with the Impressionist color scheme. Vuillard was particularly fascinated with the linear quality and flat tones characteristic of Japanese prints.

He became famous as a portrait painter but what he painted was not so much a portrait of the person as a portrait of the environment in which that person lived. Vuillard achieved this effect by creating an elaborate play of reflections, which linked the subject with surrounding objects. These works, charged with poetic tension, were called "intimist." After 1900, his style changed; the play of reflections and the poetic tension were less pronounced, thereby allowing the Impressionist in him to win over "the poet of intimacy."