The exhibition Family Portraits introduces us to the intimacy of Édouard Vuillard and Ker-Xavier Roussel, following three generations over more than forty years.
Édouard Vuillard studied at the Lycée Condorcet where, in 1882, he met François-Xavier Roussel, nicknamed Ker Roussel. Together, they will enroll at the School of Fine Arts and Ker Roussel will marry Marie, Vuillard's sister, in 1893. From this union will be born two children, Annette and Jacques.
This exhibition measures the passage of time, the transformation of children into adults, the whitening beards and the features that assert themselves, the growing mimicry between Marie and Madame Vuillard.
Not all have left the same posterity in these family paintings: if we only see Alexandre Vuillard, Jacques Roussel or Madame Roussel-mother in the representations of the two painters, it is out of proportion with the place they really occupy in everyday life.
"Family Portraits" allows to share tenderness, complicities, but also tensions or melancholy. It also makes it possible to capture Roussel and Vuillard in their duration, that is to say the subjective time that the two painters have forged for themselves, far from the chronologies of art history.
This exhibition is linked to the retrospective that the Musée des Impressionnismes de Giverny is devoting at the same time to Ker-Xavier Roussel. Family Portraits shows the behind-the-scenes family intimacy of this artist, who was also acclaimed by the critics of his time as one of the best decorators of the turn of the century.
As part of the "Edouard Vuillard et Ker-Xavier Roussel : Portraits de famille" exhibition, Helene Bailly Gallery will lend Edouard Vuillard's "Madame Vuillard cousant" (On the reverse "étude de femme assise") (1898) to the Musée de Vernon.