The new exhibit at the Royal Academy in London shows a painter that captured the emotional underground tendencies in Paris at the end of the XX century.
Paris was considered the capital of western art at the end of the 19th century. Postimpressionism, after Impressionism had transformed the visual arts, was following the same path. At the same time, the city was undergoing modernisation with new avenues and parks, while different leisure activities such as theatres, shopping centers were blooming. Artists were regarded as highly as scientists and industrialist, the 'progressive thinkers' of a new society.
In this contect, Swiss artist Félix Vallotton, at the age of 16, moved to Paris and never looked back. Together with other artists such as Pierre Bonnard or Edouard Vuillard he became strictly involved with a group called “Les Nabis”, sharing with them his interest in journalistic illustrations, ukiyo presses, domestic life, and politics. Vallotton’s xylographies had often been published on the press and now he is considered one of the most important press operators of his time.
This is the first exhibition dedicated to Félix Vallotton in the UK, with more than 80 paintings and presses, irresistible still lifes, landscapes and portraits among others. A style that has seeped into the 20th century and anticipated Alfred Hitchcock’s films in his disquieting portraits.