Félix Vallotton (Lausanne 1865 - Paris 1925) was a Franco-Swiss painter, engraver, illustrator and writer.
Félix Vallotton was born in Lausanne on 28th December 1865. At the age of seventeen, he left for Paris to learn painting at the well-known Académie Julian, where many famous post-impressionist and Les Nabis group artists went studying in the late XIXth Century.
Within ten years the young Swiss succeeded in making a name in avant-garde Paris and internationally as well, due to his woodcuts and black-and-white illustrations whose modernism created a sensation.
From 1899 onwards he devoted himself essentially to painting which he regularly exhibited in Paris and in Switzerland as well as in the best known international exhibitions.
A dedicated worker, he was instantly searching for new ways of expression. Thus, altough deeply affected by the events, did he find in World War I new sources of inspiration that led him to the margin of abstraction. Success returned with the restoration of peace. But the artist's premature death on the 29th of December 1925 prevented him from further enjoying it.
Vallotton dealt with all types of painting: still lifes, portraits, interiors, figures, nudes, landscapes and large mythological or allegorical scenes. Before the war he had already achieved recognition for his mastery of nudes and figures. Subsequently, his "composed landscapes", recreated from memory in his studio, met with a growing interest. Many were the sources which inspired his landscapes: Switzerland and in particular the area around Lac Leman where he returned regularly for holidays; the surroundings of Honfleur, his Summer residence from 1909 onwards, as well as many other regions of France ; also Italy which he regularly visited, and Russia where he stayed in 1913.
Félix Vallotton's work is widely diversified, since it comprises more than 200 engravings, innumerable drawings, some 1700 paintings, a few sculptures, as well as writings including three novels, several plays, essays and art criticism.