Painter of Disquiet: Félix Vallotton at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Born in the Swiss town of Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva in 1865, Vallotton displayed early a capability to draw from life; and at sixteen he showed up in Paris to study painting at the Académie Julian. Vallotton would return in both paintings and woodcuts to the scene of the bourgeoisie shopping for the latest high-end products at the Bon Marche Department Store– the very first such shop of its kind in the world. All lines in the painting basically point to (and up to) the seated figure of Gabrielle Vallotton– even the audience is made to feel they’re looking up to this female, who on the other hand looks down at the little kid in the foreground. Vallotton was clearly a close observer of Manet as well, and many of his paintings– for example, Misia at Her Dressing Table (1898)– stress the harsh light, the big color surfaces and shallow depth that was characteristic of Manet’s work, including Olympia (1863 ). The photo also prepares for the latter part of his profession, when Vallotton increasingly turned to landscape painting– frequently beginning with a photographic image or an on-site sketch, which was then imaginatively rebuilded on the canvas.

Vallotton would return in both paintings and woodcuts to the scene of the bourgeoisie shopping for the newest luxury products at the Bon Marche Department Store– the first such store of its kind in the world. Vallotton was plainly a close observer of Manet as well, and many of his paintings– for example, Misia at Her Dressing Table (1898)– highlight the severe light, the large color surfaces and shallow depth that was characteristic of Manet’s work, consisting of Olympia (1863 ). The photo also expects the latter part of his career, when Vallotton progressively turned to landscape painting– frequently beginning with a photographic image or an on-site sketch, which was then imaginatively rebuilded on the canvas.