Commercial artist, draughtsman, block-cutter, caricaturist, still-life painter, painter, flower painter and writer
Félix Vallotton was born in Lausanne in 1865. He studied painting at the Académie Julian in Paris. He showed his work for the first time at the Paris Salon in the spring of 1885, and was regularly represented there – despite his later break with the Academy – until 1891. Until 1888 he mainly painted portraits. For financial reasons Vallotton also worked as a restorer. He worked increasingly with reduced forms and divorced himself from academic standards. In 1892 Vallotton joined the artists’ group the Nabis, and took part in their exhibitions. He became widely known for his illustrations commissioned by well-known journals in Germany, England and the United States. He also worked as a commercial artist and craftsman, made sculptures and wrote novels and plays. In 1899 and 1903 Vallotton showed his work at the Vienna Secession, in 1900 at the Berlin Secession and in 1905 at the international art exhibition in Munich’s Glaspalast. In 1910 he began turning towards a matter-of-fact, almost magical Realism; he is considered a forerunner of the Italian Pittura Metafisica, as well as of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) in Germany and Switzerland. Vallotton died in Paris in 1925.