Individual Artists

Félix Vallotton by N. V. Brodskaia

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By N. V. Brodskaia

Félix Vallotton (1865-1925) was once lively on the flip of the century. even supposing he's most sensible recognized for his remarkable and assuredly composed Japanese-inspired woodblock prints, Vallotton used to be additionally a talented painter, developing works that arrestingly mixed technical perfection with emotional realism. This seminal textual content presents readers with a desirable evaluation of the occupation of this innovative artist.

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He elegantly and professionally analysed Böcklin’s work, reproached the Englishman Burne-Jones for his inadequate skills, and devoted articles to the “Sunday artist” Henri Rousseau and a Holbein exhibition in Basle in 1897. ” Was it not the ability to wrap in apparent simplicity the complexity of human character and life, an ability which Vallotton possessed long before he discovered it in Holbein’s painting, that brought him close to the old Basel master? Meanwhile, Vallotton’s life was following its established course – his wood engravings were selling, and commissions were coming in for magazine drawings and illustrations from publishers and writers, including Jules Renard, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Remy de Gourmont.

But he is certainly not returning to the times of Ingres; on the Women Carrying Wood, 1899. Oil on cardboard on canvas, 49 x 61 cm. Private collection, Lausanne. ” 45 Morning Mist in Romanel, 1900. Oil on cardboard, 24 x 54 cm. Private collection. 46 47 48 However, conclusions of this kind apply to somewhat later times, whereas then, in his youth, his own inclinations in art became the criterion for assessing past and present artists in his articles for the Lausanne Gazette. You have to possess a special gift to be able to assess the worth of art which is being created now in your own time, before your very eyes.

Mathisa Morhardt, in 1893, wrote of Vallotton in the Lausanne Gazette: “In his interpretation of nature, he looked for its subtlest aspects: soft colouring and concealed melancholy. It is interesting that, whenever he visits the shore of Lake Geneva, he deliberately turns his back on the excessively clear and grandiose expanses of water and mountains. He prefers the intimate little corners, bathed in light, muffled by the Port of Marseille, 1901. Oil on cardboard, 63 x 102 cm. Private collection.

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