Édouard Vuillard

Édouard Vuillard (French, 1868—1940) refused the family tradition of a military career to pursue art. After a brief period  at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts),  he moved to the Académie Julian, a private Paris art school. There he met and joined a group of radical young artists who called themselves Les Nabis (lay nah-BEE). Seeing themselves as the revitalizers of modern painting, Les Nabis formed a short-lived but important transition between the loose brushwork and arbitrary colors employed by the Impressionists and later art movements such as abstraction and expressionism.

Through his theater connections, Vuillard became part of a circle of wealthy friends and associates who commissioned him to create decorative wall panels for their mansion dining rooms and libraries. Large scale decorative works and murals as well as private portraiture occupied him during the years before and after World War I, when he served as a war artist. By 1940, in ill health and distressed by the German occupation of Paris, Vuillard fled to the western coastal town of La Baule, where he died.