Lucie Hessel

Édouard Vuillard (French, 1868-1940)
c. 1905
Oil on cardboard 
16 x 18 in. (40.6 x 45.7 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

Vuillard liked to say, “I do not paint portraits. I paint people in their homes.” And indeed, pictures like this one enlist domestic surroundings to suggest their sitters’ personalities and relationships to the artist. Here casually posed in a room crowded with picture frames, Lucie Hessel was the wife of Vuillard’s dealer. She was also the artist’s friend, his confidant, his muse and, ultimately, his lover, the subject of over a hundred paintings. An inscription in the upper right-hand corner of this portrait indicates that Vuillard painted it as a gift for her.


Jos (d. 1942) and Lucie Hessel, Paris, ca. 1900, still in 1930.
Louis Carré, Paris.
Vivian Prins, London.
[Lefévre Gallery, London, sold 6 January 1977 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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