By N. V. Brodskaia

Félix Vallotton (1865-1925) used to be energetic on the flip of the century. even supposing he's top identified for his outstanding and skillfully composed Japanese-inspired woodblock prints, Vallotton was once additionally a talented painter, developing works that arrestingly mixed technical perfection with emotional realism. This seminal textual content offers readers with a desirable overview of the occupation of this progressive artist.

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The Swiss critics looked more attentively at the work of the young Vaudois: one of them saw “a power of expression” in the Portrait of an Old Man, which was exhibited in Geneva in 1886, while another one called it “naive and sincere”. It is probable that, they had to be compatriots of Vallotton to see something that was Portrait of Thadée Natanson, 1897. 5 x 48 cm. Musée du Petit Palais, Geneva. 30 hidden in the depths of the work and the character of the Swiss artist. Be that as it may, Vallotton himself looked soberly on his first success.

In painting, Holbein and Leonardo were my first idols; the free and penetrating side of their art agreed perfectly with my best inclinations, and it could not be otherwise. I fought against the great colourists more; I felt confused by Veronese and Titian because they deviated from principles too much. I only laid down my arms later, but then I surrendered to them completely, with a glad readiness to be conquered. Rubens always horrified me; I was never able to grasp the proportions of that genius who covers you like some gigantic sheet and enmeshes you.

40-41) 38 whose dream had always been to paint was replaced by someone else. Things went on in the same way until 1899. Then the picture suddenly changed, and he poured his talents exclusively into painting. The new Vallotton, after mastering the highly complex technique of etching, suddenly changed over to the no less laborious and esoteric technique of xylography. With the very first block he ever cut, Vallotton began creating wood engravings which were not 39 40 41 42 only faultless in their technique, but were also absolutely unlike any xylographs by his contemporaries or predecessors.

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