Modern and Contemporary Art

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The Pitch Pine Room (formerly Denise Natanson and Marcelle Aron in the Summer House at Villerville, Normandy, Summer 1910

Édouard Vuillard

French, 1868-1940
Oil on canvas
18-1/4 x 25-3/8 in. (46.4 x 64.4 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

This modern pine-paneled room belonged to a country house in Normandy rented by Lucie and Jos Hessel in the summer of 1910. Madame Hessel was Vuillard’s most frequent model at the time; Monsieur Hessel was the artist’s primary dealer. Vuillard was on terms of intimate friendship with his patrons in the Parisian Jewish haute bourgeoisie, often painting them in relaxed domestic surroundings. Unmarried and childless, he was especially fascinated by the intergenerational relationships in and between such families. The little girl pictured here in red is Denise Natanson, the youngest member of the Natanson clan, Vuillard’s first patrons and close friends. Her companion is Marcelle Aron, a cousin of the Hessels.

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