Venus Betrayed: The Private World of Édouard Vuillard by Julia Frey

What if a brilliant young artist is offered a devil’s bargain: happiness—love, fame, freedom, artistic immortality—in exchange for abandoning his beloved, widowed mother?

Drawing on insights, images and unpublished diaries, Julia Frey explores Édouard Vuillard’s private world.

The artwork itself tells the story of Parisian artist Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940), a man driven by hidden but intense, often conflicting passions, which he expressed in his art.

About the Book

Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940) was so secretive that he berated himself for betraying his emotions in conversation. He was a reticent, impassioned man, a timid stalker and a social-climbing anarchist, caught between conflicting desires. From the 1880s until the advent of the Second World War, using styles from Academic to Pointillist to Nabi to Fauve, he abundantly revealed his love and hatred in his paintings: models pose beside a plaster torso cast from the Venus de Milo, women appear without faces and anxiety radiates from many of his masterpieces. Drawing on insights and images from Vuillard’s still unpublished diaries, Julia Frey takes the reader into Vuillard’s private world of cabarets, experimental theatres, holiday resorts and intimate boudoirs.

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Venus Betrayed: The Private World of Édouard Vuillard by Julia Frey

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About the Author

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Julia Frey (PhD Yale University) is Emeritus Professor of French and Art History at the University of Colorado and an artist, printmaker and writer. Her books include the biography Toulouse-Lautrec: A Life (rev. edn 2006), which won a pen award in non-fiction, and was a finalist for the NBCC Award in biography. Her personal account of living across the street from the falling Twin Towers in 2001, is Balcony View: A 9/11 Diary (2011).

After peregrinating through homes in Louisville KY, Landeck, Austria, Los Angeles CA, Yellow Springs OH, Guanajuato, Mexico, Mykonos, Greece, Austin TX, Branford CT, Boulder, CO, New York, NY, and Princeton NJ, she has at last settled with her Dutch husband in Paris and Vallauris, France.