Edouard Villard, Intérieur aux Tentures Roses I & II, colour lithographs, 1899

Edouard Vuillard, Intérieur aux Tentures Roses, colour-lithograph, 1899

Intérieur aux Tentures Roses I - II

Roger-Marx 36, 37

two five-colour lithographs, 1899, the 4th state ( of 4) and the 2nd state (of 2), respectively, on fine white chine volant paper, expertly backed on wove, fine trial proof impressions, with good margins and bright colours, quite as published in Ambroise Vollard's album Paysages et Intérieurs (an edition of 100), a few slight scuffs at the top sheet edges, and faint light staining from a old mount on the second proof, otherwise in relatively good condition

P. 340 x 270 mm.

S. 393x305 and 393x307 mm.

These two prints, as part of Vollard's commercially unsuccessful album, are now considered simply to represent "the synthesis and the conclusion of Vuillard's graphic art".*

Vuillard had not experimented with colour lithography as regularly as Bonnard, but he urgently directed its practice according to his deeply personal artistic vision.  As he wrote in his notebooks** (Carnets Intimes):

Hier soir Kerr et moi accoudés à la fenêtre de la salle à manger regardons dans la nuit le mur rougeâtre éclairé par la lune encadré par les arbres noirs. Le ciel par courtes échancrures du décor, bleu clair avec étoiles scintillantes.Causerie. La nature, la transcription, l'objet. [...] Voyant ma figure dans une glace, ma barbe dorée par la lumière la peau, les yeux mous, la prunelle et son accent carré le front un peu gras, les cheveux rares et mal plantés, mal portant, d'une couleur gris argentée, les sourcils en désordre et ombrant les yeux. L'air peinard et attentif.  N'est-ce pas là une transcription des images de ma pensée en formes communes et ces notations plus générales que des lignes ou des taches, ne peuvent-elles me rappeler, m'évoquer les images-mères. En peinture, n'est-ce pas de même l'évocation de ces images intérieures par des moyens très généraux aussi, couleurs et formes. L'art consiste à introduire un ordre dans ces moyens, suggestif de ces images.

[Last night Kerr and I leaned out of the dining room window and looked into the night at the red wall lit by the moon, framed by the black trees.  The sky, by short breaks in the decor, light blue with glittering stars.  Light banter. Nature, transcription, the object. [...] Seeing my face in the mirror, my beard gilded by the light, the skin, the soft eyes, the pupil with its sharp accent, the forehead a bit greasy, the hair spare and badly planted, badly groomed, a silver-gray color, eyebrows bushing and shading the eyes. The air stodgy and attentive. Is this not a transcription of the images of my thought into common forms, and these notations more general than lines or spots, how can they not remind me, evoke these mother-images.  In painting, is it not the same evocation of these inner images by very general means too, colors and shapes. Art consists in introducing an order into these means, suggestive of these images.]

This is, in our mind, the most cogent description possible of rendering the artist's apperceptive vision...

According to Roger-Marx, Vuillard especially worked the colours on these lithographs: brick red, pale pink, light yellow, slate blue, mouse grey for the first print; for the second, Roger-Marx more simply described them as yellow, pink, red, blue, grey, though he notes too that Vuillard worked each stone in detail, altering the green highlights, or replacing the green with a greyish brown...

As regards the identifcation of these two impressions as trial proofs, even though they are relatively conformant with the published impressions,*** there are clear discrepancies.  In the present case, we need cite the cleaning of the lower edge of the stones for the first lithograph, where there is a reddish blue extrusion below the apron of the table that is not apparent in the documented edition, and secondly, the visible registration mark in the upper margin of the second lithograph that attest this.

"la synthèse et la conclusion de l'art graphique de Vuillard", François Fossier, La Nebuleuse Nabis, RMN 1993, page 140

** François Alexandre, Béatrie Didier, Carnets Intimes (1888-1905 et 1er janvier 1914-11 novembre 1918) : édition critique avec présentation, notes, annexes et bibliographie, 1998

 *** It is also quite probable that Vollard did not undertake the full print run in extenso, despite the announced edition size of 100:

Cf. the following online documents :



The detailed description of Hélène Bonafous-Murat: http://www.ader-paris.fr/html/fiche.jsp?id=5461605&np=1&lng=fr&npp=50&ordre=2&aff=5&r=