Edouard Vuillard's "Jardins publics": the subtle evocation of a subject
Ballew, Emily Jane
Camfield, William A.
Master of Arts
In 1894, the Nabi painter Edouard Vuillard completed his second large scale decorative commission for the Alexandre Natanson home on the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne in Paris. The commission, later titled Jardins publics, included nine paintings now dispersed. This series, in which a traditional approach to decorative painting and typical Salon devices are combined with Symbolist thematic innovations, provides a complex and rich foundation for discussing two points raised by the series. First, Jardins publics provides a valuable historical testament to the transformation of the late nineteenth-century public park from an exclusively aristocratic playground to an open, democratic space. Second, the series may be read as a veiled illusion to the frequently used Symbolist life cycle theme, where social and psychological problems of different ages and classes in Parisian society are addressed by the artist.
Fine Arts; Art History; Communication and the arts; France