The Theater Box

The theater box, where people went to be seen as much as to watch a performance, was a common subject in late nineteenth-century French painting—for instance in the work of Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. Here, Vuillard directed his attention to the profile of a man he depicted twice, once in the box and again at the bottom of the page. An inscription on the sheet’s verso identifies him as Arthur Meyer (1844–1924), the director of the conservative, anti-Republican daily newspaper Le Gaulois (The Gaul). An avid theatergoer, often seen in the company of beautiful actresses, Meyer was frequently caricatured in the liberal press.

Édouard Vuillard
The Theater Box, ca. 1905
Graphite on page removed from a sketchbook
Gift of Mary Jo and Sheldon Weinig; 2019.279
© Édouard Vuillard / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York