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Edouard Vuillard, La Terrasse at Vasouy, The Lunch

Key facts
Full title La Terrasse at Vasouy, The Lunch
Artist Edouard Vuillard
Artist dates 1868 - 1940
Series La Terrasse at Vasouy
Date made 1901, reworked 1935
Medium and support Distemper on canvas
Dimensions 221.2 × 185.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1966
Inventory number NG6373
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
La Terrasse at Vasouy, The Lunch
Edouard Vuillard

This painting was the right half of a decorative panel commissioned by Jean Schopfer, a writer who published under the pen name Claude Anet. In 1935, over 30 years after its completion, Vuillard cut the panel into two and reworked it; the other half, La Terrasse at Vasouy, the Garden, is also in the National Gallery’s collection.

Many members of this elegant group were part of the literary and artistic scene in Paris. From left to right are the artist Pierre Bonnard, Madame Alice Schopfer and Monsieur Jean Schopfer, the novelist Romain Coolus, Misia Natanson, Lucy Hessel, Madame ‘Bob’ Schopfer and Monsieur Louis Schopfer and the writer Tristan Bernard.

Lucy Hessel, who was married to Vuillard’s patron Jos Hessel, was the host of this gathering in 1901. She wasn’t originally in the picture – Vuillard added her and her collie dog Basto when he reworked the painting. She replaced the earlier figures of Léon and Lise Blum.

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La Terrasse at Vasouy

La Terrasse at Vasouy, The Garden and La Terrasse at Vasouy, The Lunch once formed a single decorative panel, commissioned by the dramatist Jean Schopfer in 1901 and installed in his Paris apartment on the Avenue Victor Hugo later that year. They show Jean and his wife at the time, Alice, relaxing with friends in a Normandy summer home.

When Jean and Alice divorced in 1903, he ended up taking Vuillard’s painting, and in 1910 it was installed in the Paris apartment he shared with his new wife, Clarisse Langlois Schopfer. A few years after Jean’s death in 1931, Clarisse asked Vuillard to divide the panel into two and rework some of the figures and the foliage, which he did throughout 1935.