A native of Switzerland,the artist Félix Vallotton was born in 1865. He was very prolific throughout his career, creating about 1700 paintings, countless press drawings and woodcuts, three novels and a few plays. In addition, he was somewhat of an art critic and a member of Les Nabis, a group of artists and illustrators, which included painters such as Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. Although Vallotton’s paintings are recognised for their quality, it is mainly through his woodcuts (by 1891) and illustrations and their revolutionary style, unlike any of his predecessors, that he gained popularity.
La Charge, 1893
L’Irréparable, from the series Les Intimités, 1898
Le Bibliophile, 1911
Vallotton’s sense of form allowed him to simplify shapes, people and objects, to a minimum. He abandoned volume and detail to embrace flatness and simplification. His woodcuts are of an incredible conciseness, composed of vast areas of unaltered black or white, concealing all unnecessary details. This conciseness and his art in general has had numerous echoes in the history of Illustration and Graphic Design but also in art in a more general way.
see René Georges Hermann-Paul, Max Pechstein, Edvard Munch, Max Beckmann, Aubrey Beardsley, The Beggarstaff Brothers