Vuillard enhanced his decorative purpose in painting the Place St. Augustin
by using a large canvas. Although he saw the scene with a startlingly intimate eye, Vuillard seems to have been withdrawn, curiously uninvolved in the world around him.The world of Vuillard is safe and sure, nothing violent or upsetting occurs, most everything is as static and permanent as the building or trees. “Here he presents the quiet, ordinary relationships of the animate and the inanimate, the fusion of person and thing until both become one, and every shape, every color, every accent merges into a sustained tapestry-like rhythm comparable to the continuum of sound in a passage of Wagner or Debussy.”1
The artist evoked an era that was about to end. There is nothing of the tumult that was about to burst on the world in this mise-en-scène
of the everyday, undramatic incidents of a Parisian square.Vuillard painted another view of the Place St. Augustin
during this time which contains a number of the same features but seen from a different position.Endnotes
Referenced Work of Art
- Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, Vuillard, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 1954, p. 22.
- Jean Edouard Vuillard, French, 1868-1940. Place St. Augustin, 1912-1913. Distemper on paper on canvas, 61” x 76 1/2”. Signed lower right: E. Vuillard. Accession 61.36.18.CollectionsRosenberg, Stiebel, New York; P. D. McMillan, Minneapolis, 3 November, 1951; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Bequest of Putnam Dana McMillan, 15 November, 1961.