I spent a dozen years with my writer-desires hidden in a tumble of life, like sheets, pulled over me. A potent simple love-filled sleep, and then
This unassuming, glorious 17” x 18” painting is by Vuillard. Yet again, I didn’t choose Vuillard as a favorite painter. Vuillard chooses me.
He helped me through the brighter years, the green period when landscape design and planting trees and still a bit of sewing for tranquility flung me into the arms of a new novel, a contemporary novel, the novel where perfectionism dropped in a puddle and I wrote like a drunk on fire. Guest House.
Simeran Maxwell, of the National Gallery of Australia, says about our Olive: The face is an enigma. The conspicuous brow evokes a variety of responses in the viewer. Is the woman anxious, persecuted or suspicious? Is she shying away from our intrusive gaze, archly teasing us, questioning what we are looking at, or crossly glaring at us?
Simeran, she is saying: I am in my place. Don’t you envy my green lucidity?
Edouard Vuillard lived with and adored his mother for sixty years, his dress-maker mother. He loved his best friend’s wife chastely and was often in their company. The radiance of his heart seems the topic of each painting; love of women and their interiors. A gal could do worse for a favorite.
"I don't paint portraits," Vuillard once said. "I paint people at home." Ah, there’s the attraction. A longstanding love affair with home.
NPR on Vuillard
The New Yorker on Vuillard