Edouard Vuillard. Morning in the Garden at Vaucresson, 1923; reworked 1937. Distemper on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1952 (cat. no. 85)

With its riot of flowers in the foreground, Morning in the Garden at Vaucresson hearkens back—as do many of Edouard Vuillard’s post-World War I paintings—to the Impressionist garden scenes of Claude Monet and Pierre Auguste Renoir. It depicts the country home and garden of Jos and Lucie Hessel, an art dealer and his wife with whom Vuillard shared a long friendship. The Hessel estate was located near the Closerie des Gênets, a villa that Vuillard and his mother rented during the summer months. The figure crouching behind a riot of pink roses is Lucie Hessel herself, depicted working in the garden. Although Vuillard began the painting in 1923, he reworked it 14 years later for a retrospective exhibition in 1938. It was first exhibited in the United States at the New York World’s Fair of 1939.

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