Felix Vallotton Essay

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Félix Vallotton’s Reinvention of the Woodcut

Brief Background of the Artist and the Art Movement
Woodcut (also known as xylography) is a printmaking process that requires artistic techniques in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, leaving designs on the surface. The design is then transferred onto paper by inking the surface and applying pressure with a press. After the image is inked, it can be further improved into giclee prints that is a printing process delivered on heavyweight, watercolour paper. Woodcut was thought to have originated from Asia (mainly in China and Japan) where it was used as a method of printing books, texts, textiles, patterns and images. Soon, the print media technique spread to Europe (mainly Germany) where it was further developed into lithography. In Japan, woodcut belongs to the creative print art movement. Whereas woodcut is now generalize as relief prints of printmaking.

Félix Edouard Vallotton was born on December 28, 1865, in Switzerland, into a middle class family. At the age of seventeen, Félix Vallotton entered Académie Julian, an art academy in Paris. He began his art career as a portrait painter but later on he developed his own technique of wood engraving and started to revolutionize the art of woodcut. Not before long, he was associated with Les Nabis (a famous group of Post-Impressionist vanguard artists). During the First World War, Félix Vallotton was asked to serve as a contracted artist for the French army to create political and social posters for France. Félix Vallotton also helped setup and organize the Salon d’Automne (Autumn Salon) that is an annual art exhibition held in Paris. He passed away in Paris on December 29, 1925; which was one day after his 60th birthday. Throughout his life, Vallotton has worked as a painter, printmaker of woodcut, giclee and lithograph, sculptor, art

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