The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

December 29, 2011

Dec 29, 1925

Felix Vallotton (December 28, 1865 to December 29, 1925) was a Swiss artist who lived mainly in France.  He is famous not just for his oil paintings, but is considered a leader in the 19th century revival of the art of woodcuts. His illustrations  helped pay the bills, and as he became famous, clients like Tiffany bought designs from him. He married a widow whose father was an art dealer. His work is very distinctive, but firmly in the modern school. Leo Stein bought Vallotton's Nude Lying on Yellow Cushion, in 1905. He painted many nudes, some which include cats. His "Women with Cats". features two naked women sitting on a carpet with three cats, (two calicos and an orange and white cat.).

His woodcuts are often starkly black and white without the modulations of shadows. His work seems on the verge of becoming pure pattern, typically,  but his portraits are astonishing. His 1898 series, Les Intimites, featured a table of contents that consisted of impressions from chopped up pieces of the wood blocks he had used, thus also demonstrating the album was a limited edition. Vallotton's  woodcuts that feature cats, like La Paresse, which shows a  naked woman on a patterned bedspread, with a white cat stretching to reach her hand, are among his most famous work.

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