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Edouard Vuillard, Woman in a Striped Dress, 1895, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

Woman in a Striped Dress, Vuillard (Verbal Description)

This painting is one of a set of five decorative works commissioned in 1895, all of which show intimate interior scenes, Vuillard's principal subject. All five display rich harmonies in a restricted range of color and densely arranged, intricate patterns. The introspective woman arranging flowers here perhaps represents the red-haired Misia, an accomplished pianist and wife of the patron of the series. Vuillard adopted the symbolist idea of synesthesia, whereby one sense can evoke another. The sumptuous visual qualities of Vuillard's reds in this work may suggest the lush chords of music that Misia performed.