Young Woman Seated on a Sofa

“I don’t make portraits,” Vuillard once declared, “I paint people at home.” No painting is known to correspond to this sketch, which shows a typical “portrait” as Vuillard conceived of them: more space and attention is devoted to the furniture and objects surrounding the sitter than to the figure herself. The aim was to capture his subject’s personality through a detailed evocation of her environment. During the last twenty-five years of his life, Vuillard’s notoriety rested primarily on such portraits, which were highly sought after by members of the Parisian uppermiddle class.

Édouard Vuillard
Young Woman Seated on a Sofa, ca. 1920
Graphite on page removed from a sketchbook
Gift of Mary Jo and Sheldon Weinig; 2019.287
© Édouard Vuillard / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York