No artist has ever so suggested the soul of an interior—the sense of habitation.
—Julius Meier-Graefe, on Vuillard
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
… peindre non la chose, mais l’effet qu’elle produit.
There are few artists whose signature work is as immediately likable but at the same time as difficult to plumb as that of Edouard Vuillard. His best work is both supremely fetching and quietly unfathomable: as easy, familiar, and welcome as dinnertime yet fraught with—what? Aldous Huxley was a great admirer of Vuillard’s work. In an unpropitious moment, he declared that the painter was “the...