The exhibition presented at the Musée de l’Abbaye / Guy Bardone - René Genis Donations in Saint-Claude, and then at the Musée d’Art Roger-Quilliot in Clermont-Ferrand, includes more than eighty works (paintings and drawings) brought together in the first study on the theme of landscape in the work of Édouard Vuillard and Ker-Xavier Roussel. In the 1890s, the two artists were first of all looking to renew the genre of landscape painting by subjecting it to the rather radical experimentations of the Nabis aesthetic. Ten years later however, they turned towards Post-Impressionism and in the 1920s and 1930s their aim was to go back to the tradition of French classicism, a “return to order” that combined the legacy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with Puvis de Chavannes’s great decorative works.
Three essays shed some light on the rather singular relationship between the two artists, their specific use of pastels as well as the artistic context of the 1890s and the first decades of the twentieth century. Then comes a catalogue of all of the works presented in the two venues, paralleling the exhibition visit, with a number of commentated entries.
Saint-Claude, Musée de l'Abbaye, June - December 2017