European Art: 19th Century

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First Fruits, 1899

Édouard Vuillard

French, 1868-1940
Oil on canvas
96 x 170 in. (243.8 x 431.8 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1973.33.1.P
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

On view

This canvas is Édouard Vuillard's largest: it is one of a pair of paintings commissioned by the banker Adam Natanson for the dining room of his Parisian home, where its companion was the slightly smaller Window Overlooking the Woods, now in the Art Institute of Chicago. Together, the works are a modernist’s answer to the art of French and Flemish tapestry decoration, where large areas of monochramatic color—here, a medley of greens—are enlivened by compositional details. The landscape depicted is probably from the area of L’Étang-la-Ville, where Vuillard’s sister lived with her husband, the painter Ker-Xavier Roussel.

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