Chestnut Trees, a Cartoon for a Tiffany Stained-Glass Window


Edouard Vuillard ( French, 1868 - 1940 )

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General Description

Edouard Vuillard's plunging perspective from an upper story window to the street below breaks the composition into zones of trees, a building façade, and the paved street, filled with an assortment of highly simplified and stylized figures. This unusual painting was commissioned from Vuillard by Siegfried Bing, an art dealer who was an important patron of Nabi and art nouveau art. After seeing Louis Comfort Tiffany's Favrile glass in the United States, Bing commissioned a suite of window designs to be produced by Tiffany. Vuillard chose a motif of chestnut trees in their spring bloom. By showing them from a high window above the crowns of the trees, Vuillard was able to incorporate the lead structural elements of the window directly into his design. Eleven artists submitted window designs to Bing, including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the Nabi painters Pierre Bonnard, Paul Sérusier, and Félix Vallotton. Tiffany produced thirteen windows in total, but only a few are believed to have survived.

Related Multimedia

Collections smARTphone video; Olivier Meslay discusses Chestnut Trees, a Cartoon for a Tiffany Stained-Glass Window by Edouard Vuillard (DMA collection 2010.15.McD )
Learn about Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940).