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Italian painting 13-14 centuries
The leading role in Italian painting of the 13th century was played by the Byzantine tradition. Italy was a motley conglomerate of cultural centers. A special role among numerous local…

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Masterpieces of French Painting

Felix Edward Vallotton is usually considered a Frenchman, but he was born in Switzerland, in Lausanne, on December 28, 1865 into a Protestant family. His father, Arman Adrien, was a notary, and his mother, Louise, nee Rosen, was the daughter of a baker. The family was far from art and literature.

Felix received his primary education at the cantonal gymnasium in Lausanne. And in 1882 his father, noting the 17-year-old’s penchant for drawing, took him to Paris – the then Mecca of the artistic class. Here Felix was originally trained in the ability to make gypsum figurines in one of the many private workshops in Paris. On February 13, 1882, Felix wrote to his parents: “There are about 90 of us students squeezed into a room that is no bigger than the salon in our house.” Felix ate in the neighboring dairy, spending no more than 13 sous for lunch.

Landscapes and still lifes Feliks Valloton (Felix Valloton) – Masterpieces of French painting

Moonlight. 1895
His teachers are Gustave Boulanger, Gutave Courbet. But soon his sympathies began to lean towards impressionism. This was influenced by the large exhibition of Eduard Manet, held in 1884 at the School of Fine Arts in Paris. At the annual Salon, the work of Felix Vallotton first appeared in 1885. It was a “Portrait of an Old Man”, which is now in the museum in Zurich. His first self-portrait also dates back to the same time. Subsequently, he repeatedly served himself as a model. A year later, the young artist received his first fee – he exchanged his portrait of buyers of a large store for two suits.

Landscapes and still lifes Feliks Valloton (Felix Valloton) – Masterpieces of French painting

Outskirts of Lausanne. 1893
The first mastered reproduction technique by Wallotton was not woodcut, which later brought him fame, but an etching. In this technique, he performed reproductions of the works of Rembrandt and Millet, and the museum in Geneva ordered him a series of graphic copies of the works of Velazquez and other masters of the Spanish school.

Landscapes and still lifes Feliks Valloton (Felix Valloton) – Masterpieces of French painting

Sunset. 1910
In the winter of 1888-1889. Vallotton with his cousin traveled to Austria and Italy. However, his life was difficult: the young artist worked part-time by drawing, but often he and his cousin did not have money even for lunch. In 1890, he returned to his father’s house. At that time he mastered the technique of watercolor and painted many landscapes.

Landscapes and still lifes Feliks Valloton (Felix Valloton) – Masterpieces of French painting

Sunset. 1918
In 1891, Vallotton was again in Paris. His sympathies for impressionism grew, which was greatly facilitated by the exhibition that opened in March, at which the works of Toulouse Lotreck, Van Gogh, and Russo that were not accepted by the Salon were presented. Vallotton spoke about this exhibition on the pages of the Gazette de Lausanne and subsequently for several years sent correspondence to this newspaper.

Landscapes and still lifes Feliks Valloton (Felix Valloton) – Masterpieces of French painting

Port Puli. 1891
A year later, Vallotton tried his hand at woodcut. In this technique he executed a series of 10 small (40 x 60 mm) engravings of the Bathers. Female figures, deprived of any revealing volume hatching, are placed here on a black background. So the public was first presented with the subsequently famous black-and-white craftsmanship of Felix Vallotton, whom Alexei Alekseevich Sidorov not without reason called the master, “who brought the contrasts of black and white to the limit, not necessarily falling into conventionality.”

Landscapes and still lifes Feliks Valloton (Felix Valloton) – Masterpieces of French painting

The road to Lockirk. 1902
Starting with this series of nudity studies, they become one of Felix Vallotton’s favorite topics both in graphic art and in painting. He was posed by model sitter Helen Châtenot, with whom he lived together for several years.
Landscapes and still lifes Feliks Valloton (Felix Valloton) – Masterpieces of French painting

Dusk. 1904
Mastering woodcuts, Vallotton was not going to abandon other techniques. In 1893, he compiled an album of lithographed portraits, released by the publisher Joli under the title “Immortals of the present, past and future.” Among the “immortals” were included, in particular, Louis Pasteur, Alexander Dumas, Alfons Daudet. This was Vallotton’s first publicly released album.

Landscapes and still lifes Feliks Valloton (Felix Valloton) – Masterpieces of French painting

Red sand and snow. 1901
Graphic portrait, mainly woodcut, and later attracted the attention of the artist. Among those whom he portrayed are our compatriots – Alexander Ivanovich Herzen and Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky. The portrait of the latter, measuring 145 x 113 mm, was engraved by Vallotton in 1895. N.N. Schekotikhin argued that “of all created by Vallotton, the portrait of Dostoevsky undoubtedly belongs to the deepest and sharpest in a series of famous people.”

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