The Bowl on the Table

Vuillard painted few still lifes per se, but he included exquisite ones within depictions of family and friends at the breakfast or dinner table. In these works, objects often play a symbolic or metaphorical role, mirroring by their relative size or placement psychological tensions among the protagonists. Thus Vuillard may have planned to use this bowl, precariously positioned, off-center on the plate, to signal that something was amiss in the seemingly harmonious scene. In Vuillard’s domestic interiors, drama often lurks behind the elegant crockery.

Édouard Vuillard
The Bowl on the Table, ca. 1905
Graphite on page removed from a sketchbook
Gift of Mary Jo and Sheldon Weinig; 2019.280
© Édouard Vuillard / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York