Misia is indeed an endearing muse in this atmosphere of free life close to the anarchists. Musicians, dancers, poets and artists revolve around her charismatic personality, which is altogether seductive, authoritarian, burlesque, hyper-active, nymphomaniac and mythomaniac. The husband is complacent. During the summers the Natansons host their friends in their country house at Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.
Edouard Vuillard is crazy about Misia of whom he will make about 90 portraits. A member of the Nabi group since 1889, he mainly paints scenes of cozy interiors which are excuses for colored textures that anticipate Matisse.
One of these scenes is estimated $ 7M for sale by Christie's in New York on November 13, lot 49 A. As decentered and complex as a composition by Degas, this oil on canvas 70 x 51 cm painted in 1899 stages three characters in Villeneuve.
Misia in the foreground handles a porcelain bowl. The dog begs for sugar. Behind her, Vallotton talks with Thadée recognizable by his beard but indeed almost entirely cut away by the edge of the picture. The two groups are ignoring each other, leaving the shy Edouard with his illusion of intimacy with the muse. The background is a double still life, with a plant on a table plus the wall image of a decorative painting made previously by Edouard for Thadée.
SOLD for $ 17.8M including premium