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Edouard Vuillard: 'The Mantelpiece (La Cheminée)'
This painting has a reverse

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This painting, a combination of interior scene and still-life, shows Vuillard's room at Château-Rouge in Amfreville, Normandy. The house was rented for that summer, and those of 1906 and 1907, by his friends Jos and Lucy Hessel. The posy of wild flowers on the marble mantelpiece is accompanied by bottles with art works tucked behind them. Further pictures are hung on the walls and painting rags are hanging up to dry in the background.

The richly-decorated walls compete with the still-life on the mantelpiece. Yet despite this interplay between the two-and the three-dimensional, the foreshortened mantelpiece, jutting almost out of the picture, marks the artist's move to a more naturalistic approach.

On the reverse of this painting there is a rapid sketch of a woman with two dogs and two children on a beach.


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