VALLOTTON, Félix
(b. 1865, Lausanne, d. 1925, Paris)

Biography

Swiss woodcut artist and painter. Associated with the Nabis, he worked in Paris. Vallotton rejuvenated the woodcut medium as a creative technique. His boldly cut designs, conceived as arrangements in black and white, depict Parisian society with wit and intelligence.

Vallotton studied at the Julian Academy in Paris. During the years 1891-98 he worked primarily in the technique of wood engraving. His psychologically expressive portraits of writers (the woodcut Dostoevsky, 1895) and the spiritually revealing scenes from Parisian life (the series Story of a Certain Crime and Intimacy), constructed by means of a tense combination of white and deep black spots, are extremely laconic.

Later Vallotton painted nudes, interiors, and landscapes in which forms are reproduced with a cold precision and in a sharply patterned space.